First lane closures hit Kennedy Expressway as 3-year reconstruction begins

The Kennedy Expressway
The Kennedy Expressway. Photo credit Scott Olson/Getty Images

CHICAGO — The first barricades went up overnight along the Kennedy Expressway Monday night, which marked the beginning of a three-year reconstruction between the Edens Expressway and Ohio Street.

In addition to added congestion Tuesday morning, commuters looking for an alternative had to deal with trains being stopped for a time on the Union Pacific Northwest Line near Barrington.

It will take about a week for crews to set up the full configuration of barricades. On Tuesday morning, two left lanes were shut down from Montrose to Irving Park. By the end of this week, the closures will extend to Hubbard’s Cave. Express lanes will remain inbound during the entire first phase of the project, which should last a year.

Kennedy Expressway construction
Photo credit Sun-Times Media Wire

The entire project is expected to be completed in 2025. Bridges along the expressway will be demolished and replaced over the course of the project, taking around five weeks per bridge, according to the Illinois Department of Transportation.

Larger thoroughfares leading onto the expressway could be backed up as a result of the construction as well, but exits and on-ramps aren’t expected to be closed.

More than 275,000 vehicles travel on the Kennedy each day. Transportation officials advise commuters to find other means of travel or adjust work hours. Metra plans to revise its schedule on the UP Northwest Line beginning April 3 to add 12 trains to its weekday service lineup.

(Source: Sun-Times Media Wire & Chicago Sun-Times 2023. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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Featured Image Photo Credit: Scott Olson/Getty Images