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Concrete To Be Poured For New Wacker Drive

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Wacker Drive Project

The reconstruction project on Wacker Drive. (Credit: Chicago Department of Transportation)

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CHICAGO (CBS) – The city is advising drivers to stay away from Wacker Drive and Lake Street Thursday, as more than 1,100 cubic yards of concrete are hauled in to rebuild the roadway.

The concrete will be poured to create a new intersection of Wacker Drive and Randolph Street. It will be the first of seven to be rebuilt as part of the Wacker Drive reconstruction project, city officials said.

About 125 trucks will deliver concrete to the site starting about 8 a.m. and the pour will last about 8 hours, a release from the Department of Transportation said. The work will occur “weather permitting.”

The concrete deck will be 13 inches thick when completed and the amount of concrete used is equivalent to roughly 18 city blocks of sidewalk, or about 2.25 miles, the release said.

During Thursday’s concrete pour, motorists are advised to avoid both Wacker Drive and Lake Street, if possible.

Crews working on the project have removed both Upper and Lower Wacker from Randolph Street to about 200 feet south of Washington Street, installed new columns and laced forms to support the pouring of concrete for Upper Wacker.

All the work has occurred while the city has kept Lower Wacker open to traffic to allow access to loading docks and parking garages.

The Wacker reconstruction began Jan. 3 and is proceeding south. The current phase is scheduled to last through mid-summer. Crews will then rebuild the roadway from just south of Washington to Monroe Street. In 2012, crews will rebuild between Monroe and Van Buren streets.

City officials said last week that the project is on schedule and within budget so far.

A double-decker road along the Chicago River was part of Daniel Burnham’s 1909 Plan for Chicago. The east-west Wacker Drive was completed in 1926, replacing River Street and most of South Water Street, while the north-south leg was finished in 1954, replacing Market Street.

The Sun-Times Media Wire contributed to this report.

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