CHICAGO (CBS)–Commuters who rely on Lake Shore Drive are calling a 40-day construction project that started last week a “nightmare.”
Construction crews are resurfacing all lanes of Lake Shore Drive between Monroe Street and Grand Avenue before the Chicago Marathon on Oct. 7. Crews will also make repairs to the bridge over LaSalle Drive near North Avenue.
CBS 2’s Roseanne Tellez visited Monroe and Lake Shore, where drivers were feeling the pain of long long traffic wait times due to Lake Shore being reduced to two lanes.
“My life is over,” said LaShonda Shelby from her car while sitting in traffic. “I gotta wake up two hours early just to get to work, you know. It’s just going to be really really bad.”
About 111,000 vehicles pass through the stretch of Lake Shore under construction each day, according to CDOT spokesperson Tom Carney.
“There’s a substantial amount of traffic, but these repairs are critical,” Carney said. “We haven’t had resurfacing on this section of Lake Shore Drive in 15 years. ”
The project will require workers to close two lanes in each direction between Monroe and North Avenue, starting with the inner lanes so crews can resurface the road and the ramps at Randolph Street, Illinois Street, and Lower Wacker Drive.
Once the first phase of the work is complete, crews will close the outer lanes so the road and left-side entrance and exit ramps can be repaired.
City officials said the project was timed to squeeze in the resurfacing work between the Chicago Triathlon this past weekend and the Chicago Marathon on Oct. 7.
Drivers are being urged to avoid Lake Shore Drive downtown by using public transportation, or using an alternative route.