CHICAGO (CBS) — Two rebuilt ramps on the Jane Byrne Interchange that have been closed for months are expected to reopen next month.
The Illinois Department of Transportation said the reconstructed ramp from the inbound Eisenhower Expressway to the outbound Kennedy Expressway will open by 5 a.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 2, weather permitting, one month ahead of schedule. The ramp has been closed since June as part of the long-stalled overhaul of the Jane Byrne Interchange.
“The early completion of the Ike to Kennedy ramp is great progress,” said Acting Illinois Transportation Secretary Omer Osman.
When the ramp from inbound I-290 to outbound I-90/94 reopens, the Taylor Street “Texas U-turn” detour that was being used during construction will close.
Also, before the morning rush, the inbound Eisenhower will revert to its original configuration, with the two left lanes continuing to Ida B. Wells Drive, the third lane accessing the new ramp to the outbound Kennedy, and the right lane continuing to the outbound Dan Ryan Expressway. IDOT said drivers should be aware of the change, and expect delays for the first few days of the restored configuration.
In addition, the ramp from the inbound Eisenhower to the outbound Ryan will be reduced from two lanes to one lane of traffic. The lane closure will remain in place through 2022 to accommodate upcoming construction on the mainline lanes of the Kennedy and Dan Ryan.
On Sept. 14, crews will also reopen the rebuilt ramp from outbound Ida B. Wells Drive to the outbound Kennedy Expressway, according to IDOT. The ramp has been closed since January.
Beginning Monday, Aug. 31, The existing detour directing traffic from the Adams Street ramp to the outbound Kennedy will be slightly altered to direct traffic to connect via the Madison Street ramp.
Taylor Street and the entrance ramp to I-90/94 will reopen in late September.
IDOT said reopening the Byrne Interchange ramps should improve traffic flow, and reduce delays for more than 40,000 vehicles that use them every day.
The massive Jane Byrne Interchange reconstruction project has seen multiple delays, and is now way over budget. Started in 2013, the project originally had a $475 million pricetag, and was scheduled to be done in 2018.
According to the Chicago Tribune, the estimated cost has ballooned to $796.5 million, according to the 2019 Financial Plan Annual Update presented to IDOT earlier this year.
The full Jane Byrne Interchange project is now slated for completion in 2022.