Another Kennedy Expressway curveball as construction continues

Construction on the Kennedy Expressway is switching into high gear with a major traffic hiccup coming next week, the Illinois Department of Transportation announced.

Crews are rehabilitating 36 bridges between the Edens Expressway and Ohio Street over three years, with workers focused on the inbound lanes in 2023.

Starting Monday, "the reversible express lanes exit at Diversey Avenue will be closed for approximately eight weeks," IDOT planners said.

"During that time, the express lanes will remain open in the inbound direction and motorists will not be able to exit them until Ohio Street."

Significant delays are expected and drivers are strongly encouraged to take public transit or try traveling at off-peak times.

Later this summer, workers will begin painting and installing new LED lighting on the inbound side of Hubbard's Cave.

The massive project will cost $150 million and includes rehabbing the reversible express lanes and patching pavement.

Construction started in March with IDOT closing the two left inbound lanes first to rebuild the bridge decks. Come July, the left lanes will reopen and the right ones will close. To relieve some congestion, the reversible lanes are accommodating inbound traffic only - they won't switch for outbound traffic in the afternoons - for the duration of the construction season through November.

In 2024, IDOT will shut down the reversible lanes to rehab the bridge decks and the Reversible Lane Access Control system. Work will continue on Hubbard's Cave. In 2025, attention will switch to the outbound Kennedy.

The expressway that opened in 1960 and transports over 275,000 vehicles each day was overdue for bridge work, engineers said.

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