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Second Phase Of Wacker Drive Rehab Starts Next Week

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(Credit: CBS)

John Cody. John Cody
John Cody is a veteran reporter for Newsradio 780.
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CHICAGO (WBBM) – A huge construction parade is marching south down Wacker Drive starting Tuesday, as city engineers reopen Washington Street and close Madison Street to begin the second phase of reconstruction.

This will mean more juggling for those who normally take buses across Madison – namely the #19 to the United Center, as well as the #20, #56, #60, and #157 CTA bus routes. You can go to the CTA website for a map or just scout around when you head for work next week.

The next phase of rehabbing the north-south stretch of Wacker Drive reopens the street from Lake Street to Randolph Street, while it will close from Madison Street to Franklin Street.

LISTEN: Newsradio 780′s John Cody Reports

Chicago Department of Transportation Commissioner Bert Klein said the reconstruction project will mean bigger trucks can use Lower Wacker Drive, where the pavement has been lowered and the roof has been raised.

Klein also said there will be a stop light for cars entering Lower Wacker on what had been called the suicide ramps — distinguished by their lack of visibility for cars on the upper and lower roadways.

The new Wacker Drive also will be resurfaced more easily because it has a top lawyer that won’t be degraded by salt and is easily removed when it gets worn, according to Klein.

Klein said he hopes pedestrians will enjoy the rehabbed Wacker Drive when it’s finished in 2012, because it will have wider sidewalks, plus new planters and lighting.

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