Buses Removed from Lake Shore Drive

Buses rerouted to nearby surface streets, will make all local stops

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The Chicago Transit Authority on Friday afternoon rerouted 15 buses off of Lake Shore Drive.

Buses will continue along their routes, but via nearby surface streets, and will continue to make all local stops. Specific route information is posted to TransitChicago.com.

The reroute is expected to add to bus travel times.

The decision, the CTa said, was made in consultation with Streets and Sanitation, the Office of Emergency Management and Communication and the Chicago Department of Transportation.

The reroute sets up Chicago for what was billed a day earlier by the National Weather Service as a "particularly treacherous" afternoon commute.

At 4 p.m., it was taking more than two hours for drivers to make their way from the Circle Interchange to O'Hare International Airport.

The story wasn't better at Chicago's airports, where hundreds of inbound and outbound flights were proactively canceled Friday morning.

More than 600 inbound/outbound flights at O'Hare were canceled. Those flights that were getting out were doing so about 45 minutes late. At Midway, all Southwest Airlines flights between 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. were canceled. Southwest expected to resume operations at about 7 p.m.

Flights originally scheduled from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. are delayed until after 7 p.m., but not canceled.

The Chicago Department of Aviation urged passengers to check airline websites for status updates.

A Winter Storm Warning went into effect at 9 a.m. for most of the metro area. The storm had little impact on the morning rush, but as snow becomes steady and grows stronger throughout the day, a difficult evening commute is expected. 

"Patience is really going to be the name of the game tomorrow," Beth Mosher of AAA Chicago said Thursday. "If people can leave work early or work from home to avoid driving during rush hour, they should by all means do it."

Mosher advised drivers to keep their vehicle's gas tank at least half-full and to make sure they're carrying a cell phone and car charger, warm blankets, warm clothes, jumper cables and food and water in case they get stranded.

The storm should end in the evening, leaving between four to eight inches, though some lake effect snow showers will continue and could add another 1 to perhaps 2 inches in spots along the lakefront and northwest Indiana. 

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[View the story "Jan. 20, 2012 Winter Storm" on Storify]

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