Motorists who use DuSable Lake Shore Drive, Hayes Drive and Stony Island Avenue should brace themselves for traffic headaches as work begins on $174 million in roadway improvements tied to the Obama Presidential Center.
Starting Thursday, one southbound lane of DuSable Lake Shore Drive will be closed between 57th Street and Hayes Drive.
The lane will be closed daily from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
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Dave Miller, project manager for the Chicago Department of Transportation, said the biggest impact is expected to be felt during the afternoon rush. Suggested alternate routes include Cornell Drive and Stony Island Avenue.
Starting Monday, Hayes Drive will be closed west of DuSable Lake Shore Drive for bridge improvements and construction of a pedestrian underpass. Detours will be posted.
There will be daytime lane closures and parking restrictions on Hayes between DuSable Lake Shore Drive and Stony Island Avenue.
Stony Island Avenue will also be impacted with “intermittent daytime lane closures on northbound lanes” between Marquette Road and 59th Street.
During a briefing Tuesday, Miller said the “big impact” on traffic will be the “long-term lane reduction” on southbound DuSable Lake Shore Drive south of 57th Street.
“We want to encourage folks, if they have alternate routes or alternate means, to use those. We think, particularly in the p.m. rush hour, that we’ll see some traffic backups on the southbound Drive approaching 57th,” Miller said.
Miller stressed that access will be maintained to all Chicago Park District field houses, trails, ballfields, parking lots and golf courses.
“A big goal of this project is to improve pedestrian safety, bicycle safety in and around Jackson Park and make it a more connected park for all of those users. So, even during construction, we’ll make sure that those users have safe access to get around the park,” Miller said.
The city hopes to complete the widening of Stony Island Avenue and construction of the additional lane on southbound DuSable Lake Shore Drive by late fall of 2023.
Dan Burke, CDOT’s managing deputy chief engineer, was asked whether speed bumps will be installed in neighborhoods south of Jackson Park to prevent motorists from cutting through residential side streets.
“Cut-throughs through a neighborhood are always a concern, no matter what construction project we’re doing. It’s something we monitor and take very seriously,” he said.
“Marquette will be available. 57th will be available for reroutes. People utilize 67th to access the Drive as well. So, there are plenty of options. I just don’t think neighborhood cut-throughs [will be necessary]. We’ll monitor it closely and take steps to address it if we see that dynamic happening. But we don’t anticipate it.”