CHICAGO (CBS)—Construction on the Jane Byrne Interchange should be complete next year, but a four-year delay in the original timeline may cause frustrations for drivers.
“It’s a quagmire of traffic,” said Sen. Martin Sandoval, Transportation Committee Chairman.
The construction is now expected to continue through 2022.
Former Illinois Governor Pat Quinn may have known about that timeline in 2014 when construction began, however, according to Sandoval.
“Governor Quinn was in a tough heated election,” Sandoval said.
Sandoval said he thinks Quinn was overambitious, but did not say whether he thinks the public was mislead.
A spokesman for Quinn said, “IDOT had its goals for 2019 and Governor Quinn had the same goals IDOT had.”
When asked whether he or other lawmakers spoke up when the project timeline was determined, Sandoval said the announcement had already been made.
“It was all done in a very rushed manor right before the November election of 2014,” Sandoval said.
Dr. P.S. Sriraj studies transportation issues at the University of Illinois at Chicago.
“All of these are connecting downtown Chicago and this bottleneck you are looking at,” Sriraj said. “(Quinn) gave it five years and I wouldn’t call it ambitious.”
IDOT admits several factors have contributed to the delay, including design changes and engineering studies, along with several other major projects impacting downtown traffic flow.
“If that was the only project IDOT was working on during that time maybe they would have done justice to it,” Sriraj said.