Lower Wacker Drive has been under construction for the last two years, but the project is expected to wrap up in December -- early and on budget -- making it a win-win for the city and commuters.
"We had to make a commitment to really invest in building and rebuilding these important transportation structures," Gov. Pat Quinn said Thursday during a tour of the project.
The project - launched in April, 2010 - modernizes historic Lower and Upper Wacker Drive from Randolph Street to Congress Boulevard with additional lighting, ventilation and higher ceilings and reconfigures the busy Congress Parkway Interchange.
Upper Wacker Drive also got a makeover by widening sidewalks and eliminating dangerous turning areas.
"The new Wacker Drive will make travel safer, swifter, cleaner and greener. This road to the 21st Century is a milestone project for the Chicago region and we are proud to have made it happen as quickly as possible," said Quinn.
The project was funded by the state of Illinois and created or supported more than 100 construction jobs, state officials said.
Total project cost to date is approximately $303 million with $240 million being reimbursed by the federal government, $60 million from the state of Illinois Jump Start program, and $3 million from the city of Chicago.