DOWNTOWN — The double-dipper construction project that has ground Lake Shore Drive traffic to a painful halt in both directions through Downtown is now halfway done.
And Chicago Dept. of Transportation officials say the project is on schedule, meaning it will be done by Oct. 6 — in time for the Chicago Marathon the next day.
The project began Aug. 27 as crews shut down two lanes in both directions near North Avenue to make repairs to the Drive’s bridge over LaSalle.
The closures immediately caused deep, reliable and time-killing backups for the morning and evening rushes, sending commuters scrambling for alternate routes. Those who stayed the course got a close and sometimes unwanted long look at the grandeur of the lakefront highway.
“The traffic has been brutal in Lincoln Park, heading into the roadwork zone each day during the rush hours, equally as bad on the south side from the Stevenson to the stop light at Monroe,” said veteran traffic reporter Bart Shore. “Once you’re actually in the roadwork zone, the traffic moves ok. It’s getting there where we’ve seen the worst slow downs.”
Meanwhile, CDOT also shut down two inner lanes in each direction near Maggie Daley Park for a much-needed repaving of the pock-marked lanes that form the curve just south of Navy Pier.
Those closed inner lanes have now been resurfaced, allowing crews to reopen them and close the Drive’s outer lanes at North Avenue and on the curve near Maggie Daley Park.
CDOT said it looked at all different scenarios to fix the two troublesome stretches, and decided doing them together would essentially consolidate the pain.
So mark your calendars for Oct. 6. The pain should ease then.