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New section of Elston/Damen/Fullerton to open Wednesday

A bird's-eye view of the final configuration of the Damen/Elston/Fullerton reconstruction project. | Chicago Department of Transportation

A new section of Elston Avenue is scheduled to open Wednesday morning at the intersection with Fullerton Avenue and Damen Avenue, after more than a year of construction at the busy crossroads in Bucktown.

Starting after Wednesday’s morning rush hour, vehicles heading north and south will start using one lane in each direction on the new section of Elston, according to the Chicago Department of Transportation. The new section crosses Fullerton about a block east of the existing six-way intersection, and crosses Damen north of the current intersection.

The opening was originally scheduled for Tuesday morning but was pushed back to Wednesday because of rain, according to CDOT.

The two-block stretch of old Elston Avenue south of Fullerton will be renamed Elston Court, according to CDOT. Under the new configuration, drivers will be allowed to turn right from eastbound Fullerton onto Elston Court, and vehicles from northbound Elston Court south of Fullerton will be permitted only to turn right on Fullerton.

The construction headache isn’t over, though — drivers should continue to expect delays until the project is completed in December, according to CDOT.

On Aug. 22, traffic will be reduced on Fullerton to one lane in each direction. The closure is expected to remain in place through November.

When the project is complete, the new stretch of Elston will feature two lanes in either direction, plus a center turn lane and concrete-protected bike lanes on either side. Damen will also be widened to provide improved bike accommodations, and the north sidewalk along Fullerton will also be widened. All streets at the intersection will also be resurfaced.