LSD to be resurfaced

August 21, 2008 2:09:44 PM PDT
Lanes are closed and road work is under way on a stretch of Lake Shore Drive. But the construction should not affect the morning or evening rush hours. This portion of Lake Shore Drive was built in the 1950s and is one of the area's busiest roadways, with over 100,000 cars daily.

The speed limit on North Lake Shore Drive is 40 mph, but in the construction zone, it will be 30 mph.

The drive from the north on Lake Shore Drive headed into town may not go as smoothly as usual. The North Lake Shore Drive resurfacing project between Foster Avenue and Irving Park Road started Wednesday on the southbound lanes. To minimize the impact on traffic, the project will shut down two of the four southbound lanes. The construction zone will close at 10 a.m. and only reopen for the following morning's rush hour commute at 6 a.m.

"During the morning rush hour, the peak hour from 6 to 10 a.m., the drive will be completely open to traffic," said Brian Steele, CDOT spokesperson.

Department of Transportation officials claim the Irving Park-Foster section of Lake Shore Drive is the most deteriorated section of the roadway.

"This part of the drive was one of the hardest hit in the past winter. Our pothole repair crews visited area about 200 times and filled over 1,500 potholes," said Cmsr. Thomas Byrne, Chicago Department of Transportation.

The work will occur in two phases. The southbound lanes first, followed by the northbound lanes. Wednesday's work began with saw cutting in order to prepare the road. It entails making repairs to roadway pavement joints, removing and repairing deteriorated pavement and placing a new layer of asphalt.

The work is expected to continue through November.

"So there are multiple stages to the project and we're focusing on the most deteriorated sections first," said Steele.

"I'm grateful I can drive so I'm happy with it. It may be a little bit inconvenient at first but overall for the best of everyone," said Anton Scott, motorist.

Some southbound ramps will be closed during the daytime hours. Exceptions will be made for Cubs home games.

"An hour before the game we will open up the three lanes and an hour before the game ends we'll open up the three lanes to take care of that traffic also on the Drive," said Byrne.

The northbound resurfacing project is expected to start in the spring of 2009. The entire project is expected to cost over $6 million.


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