First set of lane closures begins on Lake Shore Drive Bridge

CHICAGO (WLS) -- The orange barrels are a sure sign that spring, also known in Chicago as "construction season," has finally arrived.

But they are also serve as warning to drivers on the Lower Lake Shore Drive Bridge to move over. Two of the southbound lanes are closed, and when there is heavy traffic it will be slow-going.

"It's gonna be heck. I don't think it's nice. It's gonna be heavy traffic," said Afolabi Olomokuby, who drives on lower Lake Shore Drive often.

Ethan Kelly was more blunt.

"It sucks. This is the quickest way around the city on the lower deck you know," said Kelly.

They closed the lanes after the morning rush hour, but getting from the North Side to the South Side for the next couple of months will be slower going on the city's showcase road.

"I live in Edgewater and I take Lake Shore Drive a lot. It's gonna be very inconvenient," said Max Jaunty.

Before summer is over, the Chicago Department of Transportation plans to repair the entire bridge. That will mean closing other lanes after the southbound lanes are done.

"Drivers should expect to see lane closures working in quadrants on the bridge going clockwise fashion and will be starting with lane closures in the southbound lanes of traffic first," said Rebekah Scheinfeld, CDOT Commissioner.

The transportation department said the repairs are necessary to keep the bridge safe for drivers, and for many, the inconvenience is worth it.

"We need repairs. You just have to, we know in advance, so we will work around it," said Valerie Dampier.

Drivers still have access to Lower Lake Shore Drive and Lower Wacker Drive, the lanes are just limited.
Copyright © 2020 WLS-TV. All Rights Reserved.