Lanes closures began Wednesday on Washington Street between Wacker and Clark as part of the Loop Link project, according to the Chicago Department of Transportation.
Beginning early Wednesday, crews shifted all traffic on eastbound Washington into two lanes along the north side of the street.
During the closures, all curbside loading and parking on Washington will be eliminated within the construction zone between Wacker and Clark, according to CDOT. However, access will be maintained to alleys and parking lots.
Additionally, the right turn from Washington to La Salle will be eliminated.
Lane closures currently in place on Madison from Michigan to Wacker will remain in effect.
Also on Wednesday, road closings near Roosevelt University and Grant Park went into effect as preparations began for the NFL Draft, to be held next week at the Auditorium Theatre.
The $31.8 million Loop bus rapid-transit project, which has been renamed “the Loop Link,” will turn two major east-west streets — Washington and Madison — into speedier corridors for buses traveling from Union Station to Millennium Park.
Bus-only lanes marked by red pavement will be created along two miles of four streets — Madison, Washington, Canal and Clinton. Cars and trucks will share two lanes of traffic; buses and bikes will share the remaining space.
Bus platforms will be raised to allow easier and faster boarding, buses will get early green lights at seven key intersections, and eight new bus stations will feature bus tracker screens and generous seating for customers, according to the city.
The project is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2015.
Contributing: Rosalind Rossi