It's been said that Chicago has two seasons: winter and road construction. After a long winter, new ramp closures on the Illinois Tri-State Tollway hold up the other end of the adage.
As Chicago commuters begin adjusting to the city's large Wacker Drive construction project, suburban commuters driving on I-294 and I-90 will have similar headaches starting Wednesday as work begins on the ramp rehab project, according to the Chicago Tribune.
Flyover ramps at the intersection of these two major highways will be closed, forcing a lengthy detour to the I-190 West ramp toward O'Hare. Traffic will then be doubled back on I-190 and forced through a very small toll plaza with only one I-PASS lane.
The $13 million project is the first part of a rehab effort to replace several portions of the Tri-State Tollway, many of which have not been updated since the road's original construction in 1958. The flyover ramp closures are scheduled to continue for the rest of the year.
A similar ramp closure, part of the tollway's bridge rehab project, is occurring at the overpass of Bartlett Road over I-90. Construction began Tuesday and will last until July 19, according to the Illinois Tollway.
The construction will detour commuters to westbound Shoe Factory Road, where they will be rerouted to I-59 and eastbound Higgins Road, which re-joins with Bartlett Road after the bridge closure.
Both Tri-State Tollway construction projects are expected to create lengthy delays in areas that already suffer rush hour congestion.