CHICAGO — Drivers can expect major delays on the Kennedy Expressway starting next month as a new, three-year construction project, begins.
On Tuesday, the Illinois Department of Transportation announced its plans to rehabilitate 36 bridge structures between the Edens and Ohio Street. It also plans to patch the expressway pavement in that stretch, paint the Hubbard’s Cave, replace overhead sign structures and replace the access system to the express lanes.
The $150 million project is expected to start the week of March 20.
During each of the three years, two lanes of traffic will be closed for work between the Edens and Ohio Street, detailed in the schedule below:
Stage 1: 2023 Construction Season
Inbound Kennedy- 2 lanes CLOSED
Express Lanes will only flow inbound
Stage 2: 2024 Construction Season
Express Lanes CLOSED
IB and OB lanes will stay open
Stage 3: 2025 Construction Season
Outbound Kennedy – 2 lanes CLOSED
Express Lanes will only flow outbound
IDOT plans to demolish the bridge decks and then replace and repair the bridge joints. A latex concrete will then be installed to help give the bridges another 25 years of life. IDOT says the bridges are showing a substantial amount of wear.
In addition to the bridge work, crews will also repair potholes, patch the roadway and paint Hubbards Cave.
It also plans to install a new access control system to operate the express lanes.
IDOT said anyone with questions can email DOT.KennedyRehab@illinois.gov.
The current system dates back to 1970. The Kennedy Expressway opened in 1960 and its last major rehab was completed in 1994.
IDOT is asking drivers to plan ahead and consider traveling at off-peak times or using public transportation.
“It’s going to be a bit of a challenge obviously so we’re really asking people to adjust their times but consider public transportation if that’s an option for you,” Mary Castaneda, an IDOT spokesperson said.
More than 275,000 motorists use the expressway each day.