Western Avenue reopens after viaduct demolition

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The Western Avenue viaduct, built in 1961, was demolished to make way for a street-level, five-way intersection of Western, Belmont and Clybourn. | Sun-Times file photo

Western Avenue is now open to traffic after crews completed the demolition of the viaduct at Belmont before the evening rush Monday.

The demolition of the Western Avenue Viaduct was completed at 4 p.m. Monday, about 12 hours ahead of schedule, according to the Chicago Department of Transportation.

Western Avenue will now be reduced to one lane in each direction between George Street and Cornelia Avenue for the next five months while crews build a five-way intersection of Western, Belmont and Clybourn, according to CDOT. The city anticipates the project’s completion in summer 2017.

Following those five months, Western will be back up to two lanes in each direction between until March 2017, but traffic on Belmont will be reduced to one lane in either direction through the intersection.

All four lanes on both streets will be open during the last phase of the project, which the city expects to run from April to July 2017.

The project is expected to cost $25.7 million and includes repair to the Western Avenue bridge over the Chicago River, sidewalks and crosswalks, and other intersections along Western, according to CDOT.

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