CHICAGO (CBS) — The bridges over the Kennedy Expressway at Monroe and Van Buren streets are set to reopen Friday – restoring two major traffic routes between Greektown and the West Loop Gate.
They will both reopen, traffic and weather permitting, on Friday, according to the Illinois Department of Transportation.
“These two new bridges advance IDOT’s multimodal mission by building better connections for everyone who travels through the Jane Byrne Interchange,” Acting Illinois Transportation Secretary Omer Osman said in a news release. “We are proud of these new bridges, but even more excited for the other improvements to come.”
The bridges – which both run from just east of Halsted Street to just west of Desplaines Street – were the seventh and eighth to be rebuilt as part of a project to accommodate increased capacity on the Kennedy. Additional lanes through the Jane Byrne Interchange just to the south will be constructed in 2020 and 2021, IDOT said.
The new bridges will also have better sidewalks and lighting, and will better connect surrounding communities and businesses, IDOT said.
The new Van Buren Street bridge will also include a dedicated lane for westbound Chicago Transit Authority buses, IDOT said.
But the traffic headaches aren’t quite over just yet. The two remaining bridges over the expressway that have yet to be replaced – over Adams Street and Jackson Boulevard – will be replaced in 2020, IDOT said.
Also opening later this year are a new Morgan Street entrance ramp to the outbound Eisenhower Expressway, and a new ramp from the inbound Dan Ryan Expressway to inbound Ida B. Wells Drive, IDOT said.
Crews are also completing the second lane of a new flyover ramp from the inbound Dan Ryan to the outbound Eisenhower Expressway, and new pavement for both directions of the Eisenhower and Ida B. Wells Drive, IDOT said.