Chicago’s famous Circle Interchange, or the Jane Byrne Interchange, as it was recently dubbed, is about to give drivers major fits. Granted, they’ll be weekend fits, but there will be chaos just the same.
As part of the flyover structure work, ramps and lanes will be shut down to provide crews with a safe work envoronment for placement of curved steel beams that will connect I-90/94 (The Dan Ryan Expressway) to I-290 (the Eisenhower Expressway.) The inconvenience has already begun, as the ramp to The Loop has been closed from the Kennedy Expressway for 2 days now. We’re seeing considerable rogue-merging as drivers realize at the last possible moment they need to exit onto West Jackson Boulevard if they hope to head eastbound into downtown. (Yes, you can go east on a “West” street.)
The Byrne Interchange has its own website; we highly recommend you bookmark it and follow along with news and updates as to how your weekend travel plans will be affected. For now, the warnings are rather ominous and foreboding:
The level of traffic control to create a safe work zone is very extensive and involves multilane expressway closures, ramp closures, full expressway stops during off peak hours, and mobilization of traffic control personnel. This process of setting up traffic control will take approximately 6 to 8 hours and then 6 to 8 hours to remove.
Yep, it’s gonna get ugly, folks. We’ll be monitoring the construction from our West Loop bureau, even if it means sleeping here all weekend(s). You’ll want us on that wall.