More Jane Byrne Interchange closures on the way Friday

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Wednesday, March 11, 2015
More Byrne Interchange closures on the way
Jane Byrne Interchange ramp and lane closures take effect this week in order to move forward with work on the new flyover bridge.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- The Roosevelt Road and Taylor Street entrance ramps to the Dan Ryan Expressway are closed as part of renovation work on the Jane Byrne Interchange.

Crews are getting ready to build a new flyover ramp that will connect the inbound Dan Ryan to the outbound Eisenhower Expressway. The new ramp will be about one mile in length.

Overnight, workers closed the Roosevelt Road entrance ramps to the westbound Eisenhower, eastbound Congress Parkway and the northbound Kennedy Expressway/Dan Ryan.

"It was good. It was smooth. The lane closures weren't horrible, so I think they made it sound a little more horrible than it was going to be," said Kris Kisala, who took the Byrne Interchange on Wednesday despite the closures.

These closures will look like a minor bump in the road compared with what's to come on Friday.

"We are telling motorists to start early, plan ahead, maybe carpool or take public transit; but it is going to take longer to go through the interchange," said Illinois Department of Transportation spokesperson Carson Quinn.

On Friday, the ramp from the inbound Dan Ryan to eastbound Congress Parkway will close, along with the right lane on the Dan Ryan Bridge. The Stevenson Expressway ramps to the inbound Dan Ryan will be reduced to one lane. Drivers will be able to go from the inbound Dan Ryan to the outbound Eisenhower on a temporary roadway.

"I'm not crazy about it. Maybe I should just retire. Move to Missoula or something," said James Melnick, who also drives on the interchange.

MORE: Full details on Jane Byrne Interchange project

The Jane Byrne Interchange has been labeled one of the worst traffic bottlenecks in the country. It's going to get worse before it gets better. But officials said the project is expected to improve efficiency, traffic flow, safety and reduce delays by about 50 percent.

"About 400,000 cars go through the interchange every day. About 35,000 of those will go over the flyover when it's completed in summer of 2016," Quinn said.

The closures will be in effect until the $475 million project is finished.