Thursday, December 18, 2014

Peoria Street Revisited

The Jane Byrne Interchange/Blue Line project in black-and-white

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Wrigley Field

I was finally able to get to Wrigley Field today to get a look at the work being done there. Yikes! This is a major project, with both the left and right field bleachers completely torn out. Timing is critical if this project is going to be finished in time for opening day, 2015 (You know, 2015, the year we win the World Series).  So they were hard at work today, in spite of it being a Saturday. Here are some pictures i managed to get while walking east on Waveland, then south on Sheffield. 

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Peoria Street at the UIC-Halsted Blue Line Station

In conjunction with the work being done on the Jane Byrne Interchange, the bridges that span the Eisenhower Expressway and Blue Line tracks at both Peoria and Morgan Sts. (just west of Halsted) are also being replaced. Here are a few pictures from the vantage point of the Blue Line platform at UIC-Halsted.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

The Jane Byrne Interchange

The infamous Circle Interchange in Chicago's West Loop was renamed in honor of former Mayor Jane Byrne in August 2014. Although it's nice that something is finally being named after Mayor Byrne, this interchange, which connects the Dan Ryan, Kennedy, and Eisenhower expressways, is a notorious bottleneck, causing headaches for drivers on a daily basis. Here's what the Illinois Department of Transportation (I-DOT) has to say about it:  

"According to the American Transportation Research Institute and the Federal Highway Administration, the Circle Interchange is the slowest and most congested highway freight bottleneck in the nation with more than 300,000 vehicles traveling through the Interchange on a daily basis, and over 1,100 crashes reported on average per year." 

Fortunately, the interchange is currently undergoing a desperately needed, major reconstruction--a new look to go along with the new name. This is a big project that will take a while to complete. Here's the latest update from I-DOT:

The Jane Byrne Interchange (Formerly the Circle Interchange) Construction Update
October 17, 2014
UIC received an updated schedule for the Jane Byrne Interchange reconstruction project from the Illinois Department of Transportation. 
  • The Peoria Street bridge replacement and reconstruction of the CTA Blue Line is now being separated into two phases.  Phase 1, expected to be completed by April 1, 2015, entails replacing the bridge structure over I-290.  Phase 2 of the project consists of the reopening of the reconstructed Blue Line Station. It is expected to be completed on May 31, 2015.
  • The Halsted Street Bridge over I-290 is also being managed in two phases.  Phase 1 is the reconstruction of the northbound lanes, with an expected completion date of April 1, 2015.  Phase 2 is the reconstruction of the southbound lanes over I-290, with an anticipated completion date of September 2015.
  • The Harrison Street Bridge over 1-90/94 remains closed for reconstruction. The work is expected to be completed in September 2015.
  • Reconstructing the Taylor Street Bridge over I-90/94 will be done similar to work on the Halsted Street bridge (two lanes closed, two lanes open) for the duration of the project.  Congestion is likely due to the lane closures. The bridge, in its entirety, is expected to be reopened in March 2016.  The Taylor Street ramp from I-90/94 will be closed beginning Jan. 1, 2015
  • A “flyover” ramp will be constructed from the northbound traffic lanes of I-90/94 near the Taylor Street exit ramp west over the expressway over Halsted Street. It will then slope down below Peoria Street, ending in the westbound traffic lanes of I-290.  Completion of this project is expected on July 31, 2016.
Here are a few shots of the work taking place at Halsted and Harrison this past week: