Driving into Chicago this weekend? No worries.
But to avoid migraine-inducing traffic the last three weekends of June, take transit or plan your route to steer clear of the Kennedy Expressway (I-90/94), officials warn.
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The Illinois Department of Transportation's rebuild of the Kennedy interchange with Ohio and Ontario streets means temporary lane closures on the expressway that could trigger a congestion domino effect.
The disruption stems from the demolition of the westbound Ontario Street bridge leading to the eastbound Kennedy on the weekends of June 13, 20 and 27. The structure needs to be replaced, but it's a massive undertaking involving enough concrete to fill 45 truckloads.
IDOT deliberately avoided work on the July 4 weekend. "There's no good weekend to do it -- there's always something happening in the city in the summer," spokeswoman Jae Miller said.
Using Metra to reach the city for Cubs or Sox games or the Chicago Blues Festival from June 13 to 15 is advised during the construction. Pace also operates express bus service to Wrigley Field and U.S. Cellular Field from Schaumburg and Lombard.
If you must drive, planners suggest the Tri-State Tollway, Lake Shore Drive and Eisenhower Expressway as alternates. However, the exit to the westbound Kennedy from the Eisenhower will close the weekend of June 20.
Here are more specifics on the construction, which will reduce the Kennedy from three lanes to two for about a mile near the interchange for the first two weekends.
• From 10 p.m. Friday, June 13, to 5 a.m. Monday, June 16, the eastbound lanes on the Kennedy will close from Chicago to Grand avenues in addition to the reversible lanes. Traffic will be diverted to the eastbound Ohio Street exit and temporary pavement.
• From 10 p.m. Friday, June 20, to 5 a.m. Monday, June 23, the westbound lanes on the Kennedy will close from Grand to Ogden avenues in addition to the reversible lanes. Vehicles will be diverted to the eastbound Ohio Street and Orleans Street.
• From 10 p.m. Friday, June 27, to 5 a.m. Monday, June 30, the eastbound Kennedy exit to Ohio Street and westbound Ontario Street ramp to the eastbound Kennedy will close.
To learn more, go to www.dot.il.gov/KennedyatOhio/detour.html.