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Commuters heading into downtown Chicago can expect to ride their brakes for a few years because of a spate of road work.
Starting in April, drivers coming from the west will encounter lane reductions, street closures, detours and traffic jams all before arriving to work. The Chicago Tribune's transportation critic Jon Hilkevitch predicts road construction will create a nasty bottleneck leading to the central business district for three long years.
Construction crews will resurface 27 miles of the Eisenhower Expressway, rehab Congress Parkway Bridge, beautify the Congress corridor and demolish and rebuild both levels of Wacker Drive from Congress to Randolph Street all before the end of 2012.
The heavy amount of gridlock will make drivers grit their teeth, pump their brake and question why transportation officials would do so much work at once.
It turns out they think they're doing drivers a favor.
"Our plan is to get in, get out and stay out," said Thomas Powers, acting commissioner of the Chicago Department of Transportation. "Rather than take 10 years to do all four projects, we get in, we use that terrible word no one wants to hear - coordination - and we deal with the traffic."
Here's a breakdown of what to expect:
Transportation officials offer their best advice to get to work with the least amount of stress.
"Listen to the radio on your way in , then pick your poision," Powers said.