Buckle up, Chicago commuters, a big new ramp project will soon begin at the Jane Byrne Interchange, and it includes some lane closures.
Illinois Department of Transportation officials said a flyover bridge connecting the inbound Dan Ryan to outbound Interstate-290 will begin, weather permitting, on March 7th. It's all part of the reconstruction of the intersection of the Kennedy, Stevenson, Dan Ryan and Eisenhower Expressways.
Officials said the flyover is needed to replace the existing single-lane ramp with two lanes for motorists. It will begin just south of Roosevelt Road and arch over Harrison Street. Once finished, the hope is that traffic flow will be a lot better for drivers, with the added bonus of improved safety.
The closures will include the ramp from the inbound Ryan to eastbound Congress Parkway, with a detour to exit at Roosevelt and take Jefferson or Harrison to Congress. The ramp from the inbound Ryan to the outbound Eisenhower will remain open but traffic will be shifted to a temporary roadway. The right lane of the inbound Ryan from the I-55 interchange to Roosevelt will be blocked, and the inbound and outbound I-55 ramps to the Ryan will be reduced from two lanes to one.
Other ramps will be affected as well, with the entire project continuing through Summer of 2015. The goal of the $475 million overhaul of the Byrne Interchange is to modernize one of the country’s worst bottlenecks, an area that was originally constructed in the 1950s and 1960s.
The interchange was originally known as the Circle Interchange but was renamed after Chicago's first and only female mayor last August. Byrne passed away in November at the age of 81.