CHICAGO (WLS) -- Construction is moving along on the Jane Byrne Interchange project, but a big traffic shift is about to happen.
It affects drivers from the Eisenhower Expressway trying to get onto the Kennedy.
Crews will be making a major shift on the inbound Eisenhower at the Jane Byrne Interchange starting at 8 p.m. Thursday. They will close the ramp from the inbound Ike to the outbound Kennedy for demolition and reconstruction.
The problem is, the detour to the outbound Kennedy is very different than what drivers are currently used to.
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"The detour, we really need to emphasize that the exit lane for east to north to follow the detour is on the far right now, whereas previously the Kennedy was in the lane over to the left," IDOT Engineer Steve Travia said.
Once the ramp is closed, the far right lane will be the detour to the outbound Kennedy by taking drivers onto the outbound Dan Ryan, turning around on the Taylor Street exit and reentering the inbound Dan Ryan, which will ultimately turn into the outbound Kennedy. Drivers will utilize a "Texas U-turn" detour, allowing vehicles to make a 180-degree maneuver to go in the opposite direction.
To prepare the detour, Taylor Street between Union Avenue and Ruble Street closed to local traffic in late May. A detour directs eastbound Taylor Street traffic to Halsted, Harrison and Clinton streets. Westbound traffic is detoured to Jefferson, Harrison and Halsted streets. The south sidewalk will remain open for pedestrians and bicyclists.
Additionally, the inbound Dan Ryan will not be accessible from Roosevelt Road, with a detour utilizing Halsted and Adams streets to access the expressway.
IDOT said it could take a couple of weeks for drivers to get used to the new configuration. Even though traffic volumes have been decreased by at least one-third lately, this traffic shift could still cause congestion and headaches for motorists.
There will be extra state troopers on-hand to monitor the construction zone. The new ramp is scheduled to open in October and will have an additional lane, much like the flyover ramp from the inbound Dan Ryan to the outbound Ike.
Because there will be demolition, crews will have to do some full lane closures during the overnight hours during the month of June.
The closure and detour was originally scheduled to start June 1.
Visit janebyrneinterchange.org for more information.
Jane Byrne Interchange project: Outbound Kennedy detour from inbound Eisenhower will create big traffic shift Thursday
Chicago motorists should expect different traffic configuration
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