CHICAGO (WLS) -- An early holiday gift for commuters: the first phase of the massive multi-year construction project on the Kennedy Expressway would finish up in a few days.
Illinois Department of Transportation officials said if the weather cooperates, all Kennedy Expressway inbound lanes and ramps could be fully reopened as soon as Sunday. The reversible express lanes will go back to normal too.
It's great news for those who commute from the city's North and Northwest Sides, and from the north and northwest suburbs. Those drivers have endured months of gridlock and delays since the start of the first year of the $150 million rehab of 7.5 miles of I-90/94.
Starting Friday night, crews will complete finishing touches mostly during the overnight hours, meaning a few more temporary lane and ramp closures on the inbound Kennedy near the Eden's Junction.
The project spruced up the expressway's main line and ramps between the Eden's Junction and Ohio Street. The construction also included restoration of dozens of overpasses and upgrades to LED overhead signage.
The Kennedy Expressway opened in November 1960 and carries more than 275,000 motorists every day.
While many are happy the first phase of the project is over, the relief is short-lived. Phase two gets underway in spring 2024, with construction work shutting down the reversible.
The entire rehab project ends in2025 after a third construction phase concludes on sections of the Kennedy's outbound lanes.