Lake Shore Drive Construction Begins

Crews will install two median openings to provide turnaround access during emergency situations

Construction began Monday on two median openings along North Lake Shore Drive to provide turnaround access during emergency situations.

It's all in the name of preventing a snow fiasco like the one that happened last February, when hundreds of cars were trapped on the thoroughfare from the wind-blown snow coming off Lake Michigan.

The inside lanes of Lake Shore Drive between Armitage and Goethe will be closed in both directions during construction, which is scheduled to last through November.

Three lanes will remain open in each direction.

The openings, located at Armitage and at Schiller, will provide turnaround ability to north- and southbound lanes in an emergency situation.

Movable concrete barrier sections that physically resemble the existing barrier wall will be used. The barriers will would remain closed at all times, opened only during extreme weather events or emergency situations.

A truck or other heavy-duty vehicle would be used to open the turn-arounds, which will be large enough for buses, emergency vehicles and cars to pass through, the release said.

The locations were selected because they are prone to snow drifting and have limited emergency access, CDOT officials said.

The work is just one of several steps the city is taking to prepare for Mother Nature.

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