4 Jane Byrne Interchange ramps to reopen

Four expressway ramps overhauled as part of the Jane Byrne Interchange project are set to reopen Tuesday, weather permitting.

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The ramps being reopened:

  • The inbound Kennedy Expressway (Interstate 90/94) ramp to Taylor Street
  • The inbound Kennedy ramp to inbound Ida B. Wells Drive, formerly known as Congress Parkway
  • The Canal Street entrance ramp to outbound Ida B. Wells Drive
  • The outbound Ida B. Wells ramp to outbound Dan Ryan Expressway (Interstate 90/94)

The announcement was made by Illinois Department of Transportation officials during a virtual news conference Friday.

“This is the first time in a few years we’ve had all of those movements open,” said Steve Travia, project implementation engineer.

Chief among the project’s remaining tasks: completing work on the roadways of the Kennedy and Dan Ryan that carry traffic through the downtown interchange.

Two bridges at Adams Street and Jackson Boulevard that carry traffic over the expressway also need to be completed.

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The ambitious project to overhaul the entire interchange began in 2013. It was initially slated for completion in 2017 at a cost of $535 million.

Due a variety of factors, including abandoning an expedited timetable to minimize the impact on daily traffic, project planners now estimate it will be finished in late 2022 at a cost of $794 million.

Upon completion, IDOT officials anticipate changes to the interchange will reduce serious injury crashes by 25% and reduce overall congestion by 50%. About 400,000 motorists use the interchange daily, according to IDOT.

IDOT officials couldn’t immediately say if it was the agency’s longest-running project but noted the reconstruction of the Dan Ryan Expressway in the early 2000s was of comparable overall cost.

A real-time webcam that allows people to watch project is available at janebyrneinterchange.org.

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