Lake Shore Drive construction project advance work begins Tuesday

CHICAGO (WLS) -- A new construction project is getting underway on Chicago's North Side that will make getting around on Lake Shore Drive a real challenge.

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Get a birds-eye view of the repaving project underway on Lake Shore Drive from the ABC7 Drone Cam.

Crews worked in-between the raindrops Tuesday measuring, marking and setting up cones on LaSalle Drive near Lake Shore. Eventually LaSalle will be down to one lane in each direction from North Avenue to the drive.

This advance work is just a part of the big picture: a resurfacing and bridge repair project on Lake Shore Drive from North Avenue to Monroe. On Monday, Aug. 27, crews will have the drive reduced to only two lanes in each direction from North to Monroe until Oct. 6.

"That's going to add additional time to my commute. It's almost like - I don't want to use the word nightmare, that's almost too strong," said Terry Phipps, a Lake Shore Drive motorist.

The Chicago Department of Transportation is strongly urging drivers to use public transportation during the six-week project, but that isn't always an option.

"It's going to heavily affect me. I do installations. I'm a technician and I have to go back and forth. So with only two lanes, it's going to put me behind and it's going to put our customers behind. I don't think that's going to sit well," said Roger Griffin, another Lake Shore Drive motorist.

The repairs and resurfacing will be done in two stages. During the first phase, the two left lanes of Lake Shore will be closed in both directions from North to Monroe. The second phase would shift traffic and close the right lanes.

While CDOT admits this will be a major inconvenience, they also stress that the work is badly needed, both the resurfacing on the drive between Grand Avenue and Monroe and the bridge work at North. In order to get the repair work done as quickly and safely as possible, crews will work double shifts with around the clock closures.

Once the mainline resurfacing is complete, there will still be periodic lane closures for striping and punch-list work, but that will only take place during off-peak hours of mid-day and overnight.
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