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Congress Parkway Bridge Project Taking Longer Than Planned

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Congress Parkway Bridge

Construction on the Congress Parkway Bridge to the Eisenhower Expressway. (Credit: CBS)

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UPDATED 08/09/11 7:51 a.m.

CHICAGO (CBS) Motorists on the Eisenhower Expressway and elsewhere are not imagining it – Illinois Department of Transportation officials agree that rebuilding the Congress Parkway Bridge is taking a lot longer than originally expected.

As WBBM Newsradio Political Editor Craig Dellimore reports, IDOT spokesman Guy Tridgell that the bridge project that was supposed to end this year will now run through at least May 2012.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio Political Editor reports

He says there have been several speed bumps since the project began more than a year ago.

“While these bridges are wonderful to look at, and they do add a lot of character to downtown, they are pretty sophisticated, complicated pieces of equipment that are really a challenge to work on,” Tridgell said. “If there’s any sort of hiccup in the process, those delays can take weeks.”

Tridgell says there have been a few unexpected mechanical and technical problems, as well as a brief construction workers’ strike.

CBS 2’s Kris Habermehl points out the reconstruction of the bridge is extremely complicated, since it involves building new ramps to Upper and Lower Wacker Drive, Franklin Street, and Harrison Street.

Thus, motorists who have gotten used to the restricted traffic flow over the Chicago River will have more of the same until 2012.

The project has been in progress since April 1, 2010.

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