Prepare for a Wacker Rehab

Project starts January 3

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Construction begins January 3.

    Chicago Department of Transportation officials Monday announced plans for a new round of construction on Wacker Drive, weather permitting.

    The project, which kicks off in phases beginning January 3, aims to remake the 55-year-old upper and lower sections of the street.

    Its first phase will rehab sections from Randolph to Monroe street. Then beginning in January 2012, construction will move Monroe to Van Buren.

    During the two-year construction project traffic will be rerouted on to Franklin street, which will be converted into a two-way thoroughfare.

    When all is said and done the estimated $300 million project should provide improved on ramp and exit ramp access, improved road quality and a new three-acre green space. It will also clear up one glaring design flaw: The merge onto congress parkway from Lower Wacker and Franklin street will be coverted into a single lane on ramp with an extended merge lane.

    "You'll no longer come out of the darkness along the winding S-curve on Lower Wacker and find out there is another vehicle directly on your right," said John Yonan, Chicago's deputy transportation commissioner to the Chicago Tribune. "Now you will be the lone car merging onto Congress."

    CDOT says the project will create more than 3,000 jobs.

    The construction project, however, will have a dramatic effect on traffic, including bicycle, car and bus traffic.

    For a full list of CTA reroutes, visit transitchicago.com.