City to limit Loop access until next week

The restrictions — in place from 9 p.m. until 6 a.m. each night until Monday morning — include raised bridges, a partial shutdown of Lake Shore Drive, closed expressway ramps and CTA train service limited to the Red and Blue lines in the downtown area.

SHARE City to limit Loop access until next week
Bridges over the Chicago River are lifted after looting broke out overnight in the Loop and surrounding neighborhoods, Monday morning, Aug. 10, 2020.

Bridges over the Chicago River are lifted after looting broke out overnight in the Loop and surrounding neighborhoods, Monday morning, Aug. 10, 2020.

Ashlee Rezin Garcia/Sun-Times

The city will continue its nightly restrictions to downtown through the weekend in an effort to prevent further looting after several businesses were targeted early Monday following a police shooting in Englewood.

The restrictions — in place from 9 p.m. until 6 a.m. each night until Monday morning, Aug. 17 — include raised bridges, a partial shutdown of Lake Shore Drive, closed expressway ramps and CTA train service limited to the Red and Blue lines in the downtown area.

The city had already enacted two back-to-back nights of limited downtown access, but Wednesday’s announcement by the Office of Emergency Management and Communications extended the restrictions for the longest timeframe yet.

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Residents and workers seeking to enter downtown are required to pass through “access points” where they will be required to “show identification or proof that they live in the area and/or work in the area,” OEMC said in a statement.

The city says the restrictions are not a curfew, marking a distinction between the blanket restrictions the city imposed after rioting and looting in late May that the ACLU blasted as “broad and vague” and infringing First Amendment rights.

CTA Red and Blue Line trains had previously been included in the Loop shutdown, but the transit authority announced Thursday evening that service on those lines would resume overnight in the downtown area. Green, Brown, Orange and Pink Line service will remain out of service.

The nightly restrictions include:

  • Lake Shore Drive is closed between Fullerton Avenue and I-55; inbound Belmont ramp is also closed;
  • All downtown bridges will be raised except: LaSalle, Harrison, Ida B. Wells, Lake Shore Drive, Columbus, Kinzie and Grand;
  • Some CTA trains will not enter a large area surrounding the central downtown area. More specifically: Green Line service will not run between Ashland and 47th; Brown Line service will not run between Belmont and Loop; Orange Line service will not run between Halsted and Loop; and Pink Line service will not run between Polk and Loop;
  • Bus service remains unaffected, but may be rerouted due to bridge/street closures;
  • Kennedy/Dan Ryan Expressway ramps closed from Cermak to Division;
  • Northbound Stevenson Expressway ramp to northbound Lake Shore Drive closed;
  • Eastbound Eisenhower Expressway closed at Ida B. Wells Drive;
  • Divvy service will be shut down between North, Ashland and Cermak.

“Access points” for residents and workers are located at:

  • Harrison Street
  • Chicago Avenue and Halsted Street
  • Roosevelt Road and Canal Street
  • Kinzie Street and Halsted Street
  • LaSalle Street
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