CHICAGO — Officials are giving updates on the status of the Jane Byrne Interchange overhaul at a public forum at the UIC Forum Thursday night, as delays and price overruns continue to mount for the project.
Officials with the Illinois Department of Transportation said the forum was meant to keep residents and drivers up-to-date on their progress after the department didn’t do much outreach before.
“We want the public to know we are still out here, we’re still working, we’re going to get this thing done as quick as possible, we want people to be patient not just this project but with every project,” said Anthony Quigley, IDOT.
In 2011, the Jane Byrne Interchange was rated as the worst bottleneck for freight congestion in the country. Now it’s ranked as the seventh worst.
The overhaul was supposed to be done last year, but the latest estimates say it won’t be completed until 2022. To date, about half of the planned construction projects have been completed.
When it was announced in 2013, the estimated cost of the so-called “Circle Interchange” project was about a half a billion dollars. Now the price tag is $713 million, nearly $300 million more than originally estimated.
IDOT officials unanticipated delays were caused by working in a tight footprint, dealing with 400,000 vehicles, and the need for repairs on other large projects.
Quigley said that as construction continues, drivers should also continue to be careful when driving through work zones.