Category Archives: Chicago traffic
The Illinois Department of Transportation is putting a lot of energy into promoting the proposed I-55 Managed Lane Project having produced a new website along with a video starring Illinois Transportation Secretary Randy Blankenhorn explaining the project.
According to Blankenhorn, IDOT is considering managed lanes all over the state. In more rural areas expressways could have managed lanes for trucks, while urban areas may opt for dedicated bus or car pool lanes. IDOT hopes installing a managed lane on the Stevenson from Chicago to I-355 would be the easiest project for them to initiate the concept in Illinois.
The proposed concept for I-55 would be an express toll lane where drivers could pay a premium to bypass congestion on the freeway section of the expressway.
Check out IDOT’s new website dedicated to the project: www.i55managedlaneproject.org.
The City of Chicago’s annual bridge lift kicks off Saturday morning April 16th, on the city’s southwest side according to the Chicago Department of Transportation.
Every spring and fall in Chicago, the city schedules bridges over the Chicago River to be raised twice a week to allow sail boats with masts too high to go under city bridges, to move into and from Lake Michigan.
“The springtime lifting of Chicago’s iconic movable river bridges marks the beginning of the boating season each year and is a welcome sight for Chicagoans,” said CDOT Commissioner Rebekah Scheinfeld, who also serves as Chicago’s Harbor Master and has jurisdiction over the city’s waterways. “CDOT works with local boat storage yards each year to create a schedule that accommodates boats while causing the least amount of impact on downtown street traffic.”
On Saturday morning, the lift will begin at 8 AM at the Ashland Avenue Bridge with bridges lifting consecutively until the boats reach Lake Michigan.
Three teams of bridgetenders “leapfrog” each other between bridges along the river, in order to keep the process running as fast and smoothly as possible according to CDOT
The nation’s third largest city has only the 10th worst traffic congestion.
That’s where the annual TomTom Traffic Index ranks Chicago in this year’s report.
Los Angeles received the unwanted distinction of being the worst congested in the U.S. followed by San Francisco and New York City.
But surprisingly, cities like Seattle (#4), San Jose (#5) and Portland (#9) have more congestion than Chicago according to TomTom.
On an almost daily basis, individual bridges will closed to traffic in order to raise and lower them in order to see if they’re in working order.
The annual spring bridge lift, where bridges spanning the Chicago River are lifted in succession on certain days between mid-April and June to allow tall masted watercraft to move down the river to Lake Michigan for the summer.
CDOT says bridge lifts will take place on weekends only this year, which is a change from previous years where lifts also occurred at least one day during the work week.
Here’s the closure schedule:
The first night will be this Friday, March 11th from 1 AM to 5 AM, and the second will occur on Wednesday, March 16th from 1 AM to 5 AM.
Unspecified new equipment must be installed and then tested according to CDOT. This year’s spring boat lift, where bridges along the Chicago River are lifted in succession on scheduled days to allow high masted boats to return to Lake Michigan for the warm weather, will not begin until testing is complete.
CDOT says during the closure times, eastbound traffic will be detoured from Congress to Canal to Harrison to Wells and back to Congress. Westbound traffic will be detoured to Wells, Harrison, Canal and back to Congress.
EDITOR’S NOTE: The news story above aired in January. Since then, the construction schedule discussed at the end of the report has changed–see below.
The wrecking ball is finally coming for the Western Avenue Overpass.
After 55 years of life transporting 35,000 drivers a day above Belmont Avenue, the viaduct will be officially be closed on March 1st in advance of a weekend of intense demolition according to the Chicago Department of Transportation.
Western Avenue and the Belmont/Western/Clybourn intersection, will be closed to all traffic between Nelson and Roscoe Streets starting Friday, March 4th at 8 PM.
An inspection of the bridge on Tuesday turned up enough problems to warrant full closures to motor vehicle traffic for the repairs form 9 AM to 5 PM on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. All other times, the one lane in each direction will be opened to traffic.
The bridge, which spans the North Branch of the Chicago River to the grating on the bridge and to supporting beams according to CDOT. Inspectors closed traffic to one lane in each direction on Tuesday after discovering the structural issues on the bridge.
National Public Radio reports on a new study from the University of Michigan’s Transportation Research Institute which seems to indicate the number of young people who don’t drive is increasing.
The trend in car ownership and driver’s license holders is decreasing among all age groups but is most dramatically down in younger demographics.
One metric NPR pulls out is that only 69% of 19-year olds had a driver’s license in 2014, compared to 90% in 1983. While driver’s licenses among twenty-somethings is down 13% compared to 30 years ago.
NPR writer David Schaper reports from Chicago and interviews a handful of folks, both young and older, who don’t or have recently given up driving.
Toll lanes may be coming to the Stevenson Expressway if Governor Rauner gets his way according to DNA Info.
The Illinois Department of Transportation is studying the possibility of adding one lane of what’s being called a “managed” lane of traffic in each direction between where the Dan Ryan meets I-55 and I-355 in Lemont.
A managed lane is just another term for a lane where drivers pay to use. The proposed toll lanes would run adjacent to the freeway lanes. The idea is one that transportation planners are proposing as a way to alleviate congestion and perhaps raise revenue for other projects.
Just after rush hour Monday night (January 25th), the Adams Street Bridge will be closed to traffic for a 13-month reconstruction project according to the Chicago Department of Transportation.
Adjacent to Union Station and spanning the South Branch of the Chicago River, the bascule bridge was constructed to raise and lower to allow high masted boat traffic on the river. Most of the other downtown bascule bridges have been rebuilt or repaired over the last ten years according to CDOT.