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How to Get Around Chicago During the Marathon

The CTA suggests buy fare tickets on Saturday and allowing extra travel time on Sunday

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    CHICAGO, IL - OCTOBER 09: Thousands of runners participate in the Bank of America Chicago Marathon on October 9, 2011 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images)

    Get ready for Gridlock Chicago.

    The annual Bank of America Chicago Marathon expects 45,000 runners to participate in Sunday's event and over a million spectators to watch, leading to street closures and traffic jams around the city.

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    A total of 39 streets will be closed throughout the city, and that does not include the expressway exit ramps that will also be closed during the event. A full list of the street closures can be found on Chicago Marathon's website.

    Those planning to drive around the city should be aware of the road closures and plan alternate routes.

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    Street closures along the route will begin at approximately 7:00 a.m. on race day and all city streets are anticipated to be reopened by 4:30p.m., according to a press release from the Chicago Office of Emergency Management and Communications. Some street and lane closures are already in place in the Grant Park area including Columbus from Roosevelt Road to Balbo Drive and Balbo Drive from Columbus to Lake Shore Drive.

    The Chicago Transit Authority wants spectators and participants in Sunday's race to know there will be plenty of bus and rail service available, according to a release on the CTA website. The CTA plans to run longer trains and run trains more often on certain rail lines during the marathon, the release said. Trains on certain lines also will start service earlier Sunday, the release said.

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    The marathon events begin at 7:20 a.m.

    About three dozen CTA bus routes will be detoured because of the marathon course. The CTA says the reroutes will last until 4 p.m. Sunday.

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    CTA officials recommend that those attending the marathon buy fare cards ahead of time and allow extra travel time on Sunday. The CTA also says it will have employees on duty at select rail stations to provide travel information.