Mild weather means early start to phase two of Kennedy Expressway rehabilitation


Chicago Construction News staff writer

The Illinois Department of Transportation announced that the rehabilitation of the Kennedy Expressway (Interstate 90/94) from the Edens Expressway (Interstate 94) junction to Ohio Street will resume Mar. 11, earlier than expected due to warmer temperatures this winter.Advance work starts this week.

“The Kennedy rehabilitation project is one of hundreds across the state made possible by the governor’s Rebuild Illinois capital program that IDOT is committed to delivering as quickly and efficiently as possible,” said Illinois Transportation Secretary Omer Osman. “While we understand construction can be inconvenient, we are taking advantage of the warm weather to start early.

“The end result will be safer, more resilient infrastructure for the region long after the cones and barricades are removed.”

The work is the second phase of the $150 million project taking place over three consecutive construction seasons. Improvements to the inbound lanes were completed last year. This year’s work will focus on the reversible express lanes and is anticipated to be completed later this fall, with efforts on the outbound Kennedy in 2025.

The overall $150 million Kennedy project will rehabilitate 36 bridge structures and the reversible express lane system, replace overhead sign structures, as well as install new signage and modernized LED lights. The improvements also include pavement patching and structural painting. Hubbard’s Cave, from Grand Avenue to Wayman Street, will be painted and new LED lighting installed.

The Kennedy Expressway officially opened in November 1960, with the last major rehabilitation completed in 1994. The existing reversible express lane system, which controls the traffic flow reversal of the center express lanes, was installed in 1996 to replace the original 1960s system. The project will improve safety, traffic flow and reliability for the more than 275,000 motorists who use the expressway each day.

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