Expect big headaches getting onto the Eisenhower soon

The word excruciating comes to mind.

The Illinois Department of Transportation will close a number of ramps and lanes where the inbound Dan Ryan Expressway meets the outbound Eisenhower Expressway March 7 as part of the reconstruction of the Jane Byrne Interchange, formerly the Circle Interchange.

Traffic heading from the Stevenson Expressway (I-55) to the Dan Ryan will also be impacted.

IDOT planners warned drivers to expect delays and allow extra travel time when passing through the area and that's expected to be an understatement.

About 400,000 motorists drive through the Byrne Interchange daily and about 35,000 use the existing ramp.

A new flyover bridge will replace the old ramp between the two highways. Closures will be in effect until summer 2016.

Here's what to expect on March 7:

• IDOT will close the ramp from the Ryan to inbound Congress Parkway. Drivers will be detoured onto Roosevelt Road, then to Jefferson, Harrison and Wells streets and Congress Parkway.

• Drivers can still get from the Dan Ryan (I-90/94) to the Eisenhower but the ramp will be shifted to a temporary location.

• The inbound and outbound lanes from the Stevenson Expressway onto the Dan Ryan will shrink from two to one.

• IDOT will close the right lane of the inbound Dan Ryan that takes vehicles from the Stevenson to Roosevelt Road.

• The ramp leading from Roosevelt Road to the Eisenhower/Congress Parkway will close.

• The Taylor Street ramp to the inbound Ryan will close.

Detours will be posted for closed ramps.

The Byrne Interchange is undergoing a major rebuild costing $475 million. Congress Parkway and the Eisenhower, Dan Ryan and Kennedy expressways converge at the location, described as one of the nation's worst bottlenecks.

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