5 things to know about the $150 million Kennedy Expressway project (like alternatives)
Gentlemen, start, or rather idle, your engines.
This week marks the beginning of a $150 million, three-year Kennedy Expressway bridge rehabilitation program.
The massive project includes fixing 36 bridges between the Edens Expressway and Ohio Street, rehabbing the reversible lanes, patching pavement, and giving Hubbard's Cave a fresh coat of paint.
Illinois Department of Transportation engineers said the expressway that opened in 1960 and transports over 275,000 vehicles each day is overdue for bridge work.
IDOT is warning of delays and is recommending travelers try to avoid rush hour or take public transit.
Here are five things to know about 2023 Kennedy construction, which is scheduled to last through November.
• This year, work is focused on the inbound Kennedy. IDOT is closing the two left lanes first to rebuild the bridge decks. Come July, the left lanes will reopen and the right ones will close.
• The reversible lanes will pick up slack and accommodate only inbound traffic -- they won't switch for outbound traffic in the afternoons -- for the duration of construction this year. Drivers will not be able to exit the reversibles until Armitage Avenue.
• Crews will be out from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. this week, starting Monday night, installing barriers from the Edens junction south to Ohio Street.
• In light of the Kennedy project, Metra on April 3 will add 12 more trains to its Union Pacific Northwest Line. The updated schedule will offer trains every 30 minutes during rush hour and every hour at most stations at other times. The 12 extra trips will increase the UP Northwest's weekday train count to 78, compared to 66 currently.
• Pace is reminding riders that its Bus on Shoulder program operates on the Jane Addams Tollway. This allows buses to use "Flex Lanes" on the inside shoulder during rush hour, or when there's traffic, to ensure timely trips. A number of different Bus on Shoulder routes serve Elgin, Elk Grove Village, Hoffman Estates, Itasca and Schaumburg -- and all stop at the Rosemont CTA Blue Line station.
For more information on the project, go to idot.illinois.gov/projects/Interstate-90-Kennedy-Bridge-Study.