Crews removed the last portion of the Kennedy Expressway’s Ontario Street bridge on Saturday, causing some delays and backups around downtown Chicago.
No major problems were reported during the second of two weekends of work on the massive Kennedy project.
Unlike last weekend, though, crews weren’t able to get through the work more than a day early.
All lanes of traffic are expected to be reopened by 5 a.m. Monday.
The Illinois Department of Transportation urged drivers to use a different route to the Loop or take public transportation.
Though many drivers said they knew about the construction, some took a chance anyway Saturday, including Paul Ingram, who drove in with his wife, Amber, and their 2-year-old from Calumet Park.
“You just take the detours,” said Ingram, 29.
Cabbie Murataly Ergeshov wasn’t happy about the closing of the Ontario Street feeder ramp, a speedy way to get passengers from River North bars to their North Side homes.
“The weekends are the busiest time for us to work,” the 23-year-old said. “The ramp is very important.”
Fellow cabbie Sam King, 61, was more pragmatic.
“They need to [do] the construction,” King said. “We don’t have a choice.”
The problems are worst this weekend for drivers heading in from the South Side.
Crews are working on the northbound lanes into the Loop. So, as drivers cross the Eisenhower Expressway, five lanes of traffic shrink to two. After that, there’s a complicated detour that starts with drivers exiting at Ohio Street, down to Orleans, then looping around and back onto the expressway.
The following ramps are closed: the Ontario Street feeder and the entrance ramps onto the Kennedy from Jackson Boulevard to Randolph Street.
Contributing: Tina Sfondeles