CTA adds trains to ease traffic mess around Byrne Interchange

SHARE CTA adds trains to ease traffic mess around Byrne Interchange
SHARE CTA adds trains to ease traffic mess around Byrne Interchange

If you think it’s been tough commuting around the Jane Byrne Interchange recently, things are about to get a lot dicier on all three expressways, and some extra train service around the area might be the way to go.

The ramp from the inbound Kennedy Expressway to inbound Congress Parkway closed Thursday morning and will remain closed through Aug. 31, according to the Illinois Department of Transportation.

A detour route will be posted directing inbound Kennedy traffic to the Roosevelt Road exit, then via Jefferson, Harrison and Wells to connect with Congress.

The ramp will be used over the next two weekends to stage equipment and materials needed for the installation of steel beams. The beams will support the deck of the new flyover bridge linking the inbound Dan Ryan Expressway to the outbound Eisenhower.

Installation of those beams also will require four weekends of lane closures on the Ryan, beginning Friday night, according to IDOT. The other weekends are Aug. 28-30, Sept. 25-27 and Oct. 16-18. The weekends were chosen to minimize the impact on special events and festivals.

During the first two weekends, Congress will be closed in both directions, though traffic will be able to access the I-90/94 ramps. Both the Kennedy and Ryan expressways will be reduced to one lane during overnight hours Saturday into Sunday, with intermittent full stops on all lanes.

Between 1 a.m. and 5 a.m. Thursday, the ramp from the inbound Eisenhower to the outbound Ryan was closed for removal of the beams on the old Halsted Street bridge over the Eisenhower.

Beginning at 1 a.m. Friday, the inbound Kennedy ramp to the outbound Eisenhower will be closed until 5 a.m. Traffic will be directed to continue on the Ryan to the 18th Street exit and entrance ramps to access the outbound Eisenhower.

Drivers should expect delays and allow extra time for trips through the affected areas, according to IDOT.

“We have worked closely with the City of Chicago to make sure these upcoming weekends run as smoothly as possible,” state Transportation Secretary Randy Blankenhorn said in a statement.

“We wish to stress that Chicago remains open for business and people should continue to enjoy all the city has to offer,” he said. “But they do need to plan accordingly, account for some longer travel times and should strongly consider taking alternate routes or public transportation, especially if they are driving during the overnight hours.”

To that end, the CTA announced Thursday that it would provide extra rail service during the Byrne flyover work.

Beginning Friday evening, the CTA will operate longer trains on the Red, Blue, Brown, Green and Pink lines. Buses will follow normal routes, though customers should expect delays because of added congestion. The transit agency urged passengers to use rail service when traveling downtown or to allow extra travel time.

To accommodate additional ridership for the One Direction concert Sunday night at Soldier Field, the CTA will provide extra bus service on the No. 130 Museum Campus and No. 146 Inner Drive/Michigan Express routes. Extra service will operate beginning about 5:45 p.m. on the No. 130 and about 3:30 p.m. on the No. 146. Extra service will conclude roughly one hour after the concert ends.

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