CHICAGO — As will be the case for most of the next month, there is another road closure that will happen in downtown Chicago as NASCAR’s race approaches.
This week’s concerns one road in particular.
According to the Chicago Department of Transportation and the Office of Emergency Management and Communications, there will be a full closure of Ida B. Wells Drive from Michigan Avenue to Columbus Drive starting at 12:01 a.m. on Saturday. This also includes the adjacent sidewalks as well.
This closure will remain in place through the running of the event on July 1 and 2, with the scheduled reopening as of Friday set for July 10.
Per the CDOT & OEMC, residents are encouraged to use Jackson Drive and Balbo Drive as alternate routes.
So far, there have been parking restrictions added to Columbus Drive, which started on June 2 and run through July 15. The next scheduled closer is Balbo Drive, which will be shut down from DuSable Lake Shore Drive to Michigan Avenue, which goes into effect on Monday, June 19.
That will stay closed until the conclusion of the event and until July 13.
A number of major closures will take place starting the week of July 25, a week ahead of the Xfinity and Cup Series races on the 2.2-mile street course.
The return of NASCAR to the Chicago area for the first time since 2019 to race on the street for the first time has been met with plenty of curiosity and criticism. It’s a unique moment in the lengthy and proud history of professional sports in the city and the first motor race staged downtown.
Yet concerns over road closures on the pre-July 4 weekend along with economic impact have earned the event a fair amount of critics.
NASCAR will have The Loop 121 Xfinity Race at 4 p.m. on Saturday, July 1 and the Cup Series race, the Grant Park 220, on Sunday, July 2 at 4:30 p.m.