The dump truck above is carrying the signs to help guide you around the closed ramps on the Kennedy Expressway starting this weekend. I stumbled upon it driving west on Randolph and thinking "here we go..."
Monday's going to suck for a lot of you. I'll get to that in a minute. Saturday, IDOT will close the outbound entrance ramps for Jackson and for Madison, along with the inbound Randolph (or the direction to the Dan Ryan Expy) ramp. That goes with the other ramps that are already closed, but here's the kicker. Each direction of the Kennedy will lose the left lane.
That's why Monday's going to be terrible. The inbound Dan Ryan will be even more clogged heading into the Circle, and the inbound Kennedy will be jammed up worse than we've seen travelling towards Hubbard's Cave. Plus, the Eisenhower will be affected with folks attempting to get on the ramp to the Kennedy. Finally, what about the Stevenson? With everyone stacked up on the Ryan heading in, you can expect the long exit ramp to be bottled up as well earlier than normal.
Does it seem like everyone of the expressways will be affected? I don't blame you if you curse at it, but it needs to be done. Those ramps are flat out dangerous. By at least extending the acceleration lane, it will make a world of difference for those trying to get through downtown.
In the meantime, on the inbound Ike and Stevenson, stay left. On the Kennedy and Dan Ryan, jump off sooner. For the Ryan, bailout at the Chinatown ramp towards Lake Shore or slip up Canal St. Those taking the Kennedy shouldn't wait until the Feeder. Take Division over to Orleans and head in that way. Maybe even think about going down Ashland after you exit at North Avenue.
So curse at it now, but love it later.
**Hey look?!! Dance Friday was a riot today. Check it out. Ginger Zee picked a great song. CeCe Peniston's "We Got A Love Thing" was the second single from her smash "Finally" album back in 1992. Go catch her at Market Days this weekend in Lakeview. Berlin and Jodi Watley will be there too!
**We survived our first week with a new computer system that helps program news items like the video, the graphics, the soundbytes and our simple camera switching. There were a few glitches, but thanks for sticking with us. Ultimately the switch will provide us with a smoother newscast.
**We're still getting emails about the Great Face-Off in 09. So if you want to chime in about my shiny hair, my suits, my glasses, my ties, my shirts, or of course, the "goatee." Don't hesitate. I just might post them on the blog, but if you email me, spell correctly for goodness sake!!!!
**Have a great weekend. I'll see you all on Monday!
**This is why we cover traffic 24 hours a day. It's fun to hear this story unfold on the scanners before lunchtime.