CHICAGO (CBS) — The Taylor Street bridge over the Dan Ryan Expressway opened just in time for holiday travel, the Illinois Department of Transportation announced Friday.

The new bridge provides bike lanes, wider sidewalks and easy access to pubic transportation, according to a statement from the IDOT.

“We are pleased to deliver yet another big component of the Jane Byrne Interchange reconstruction,” IDOT Secretary Randy Blankenhorn said in the statement. “These improvements will improve commuting and the movement of freight throughout the region, while enhancing the quality of life for nearby residents and businesses.”

The $18 million dollar project included the reconstruction and widening of the bridge to two lanes in each direction with sidewalks on both sides, according to IDOT. New traffic signals, lighting and pedestrian features were also part of the construction.

Also included in the project was the new flyover bridge linking the inbound Dan Ryan Expressway to the outbound Eisenhower Expressway, which opened last weekend, IDOT said. The flyover ramp will operate as a single-lane ramp until the second lane can open after the work is complete in summer 2018. Eventually, two lanes with shoulders will carry traffic about a mile over the entire interchange beginning south of Roosevelt Road to the outbound Eisenhower near Morgan Street.

The next phase of construction will include widening the Eisenhower at the interchange, according to IDOT. The upgrades from the Jane Byrne Interchange project are intended to improve safety and traffic flow for more than 400,000 motorists who use it each day while also helping bicyclists, pedestrians and transit users in the nearby neighborhoods.

(Source: Sun-Times Media Wire © Chicago Sun-Times 2016. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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