A $133 million project to reconstruct the interchange between the Stevenson Expressway and Lake Shore Drive downtown begins Monday.
The project will take until late 2017 to complete, and will ultimately rebuild all of the ramps and bridges linking Lake Shore Drive and the Stevenson (Interstate 55) just east of the Dan Ryan, according to the Illinois Department of Transportation.
Crews will first focus on the ramp from northbound Lake Shore Drive to the outbound Stevenson. The single-lane ramp will remain open to traffic but will be reduced to 11 feet wide beginning Monday, IDOT said.
Some temporary, overnight closures are scheduled to allow crews to set up the work zone. After that, occasional overnight closures will be required until the work on the ramp is finished in summer 2016, IDOT said.
Construction on another ramp, from southbound Lake Shore Drive to the outbound Stevenson, will start later this summer and also last until 2016.
Later on, crews will reconstruct and reconfigure the six bridges that form the interchange. Those include inbound and outbound I-55 over McCormick Place and King Drive, inbound I-55 to both directions of Lake Shore Drive, and both directions of Lake Shore Drive to outbound I-55.
The interchange was last replaced more than 50 years ago, IDOT said. The improvements will address structural deficiencies and enhance safety and roadway capacity.
More than 123,000 vehicles pass through the interchange every day.
Throughout the project, IDOT will coordinate the construction schedule with the city of Chicago, Soldier Field, McCormick Place and other nearby facilities and organizations, the agency said.