Construction will slow traffic on Magnificent Mile

September 27, 2011 2:53:44 PM PDT
Road construction on a one-mile stretch of North Michigan Avenue along the Magnificent Mile begins this week.

Chicago's Mag Mile hasn't been looking so magnificent lately = at least on the surface! The high traffic and bus volume over the years has taken its toll.

"The condition of Michigan Avenue has been deteriorated for some time now," said Chicago Department of Transportation's Brian Steele. "We've had issues with pot-holed and particularly issues with pavement shoving -- when buses stop and start at bus stops, you tend to see ruts and divots in the pavement because of the starting and stopping motions of the heavy buses."

Starting Wednesday, CDOT will begin resurfacing Michigan Avenue from Illinois to Oak Street, and continuing on Inner Lake Shore Drive from Oak to Division. During construction, one lane will be closed in each direction and parking restrictions will be in place throughout the work zone.

Crews will repair curbs and sidewalks, adjust utility structures, remove the old road surface and install new asphalt and pavement markings.

The repairs that extend on the Inner Drive were rolled into the Michigan Avenue resurfacing to ease the traffic burden of having two separate projects and to save money.

"The portion of inner Lake Shore Drive from Oak to Division is actually being funded by the local Alderman, Brendan Riley of the 42nd Ward," Steele said. "We work very close with our alderman on all of our street projects, and when he heard about the North Michigan Avenue project, he wanted to add that extra section to the north."

No CTA bus routes will be detoured during the project, but some of the bus stops may be moved by a block or so.

"I guess all I can really do is get up a little earlier and hope I can catch an earlier bus and hope the traffic doesn't make me late for work," said CTA bus rider Curtiss Clark.

Because the project is just resurfacing and not total reconstruction, officials say they will be done by mid-November , just in time for the Magnificent Mile Lights Festival.

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