CHICAGO — The Loop will be closed off starting Monday night after widespread looting there earlier in the day.
Access to the area will be restricted 8 p.m.-6 a.m. daily for the foreseeable future, Mayor Lori Lightfoot and Supt. David Brown announced Monday morning. The city does want to make it easy for people who live and work in the area to still travel into it, Lightfoot said.
But officials hope closing off the Downtown area can prevent more damage. Sunday night and Monday morning saw hundreds of people pour into the Loop and surrounding neighborhoods, where they broke into stores, stole and clashed with police. Two people were shot and 13 officers injured, and more than 100 people were arrested.
The restrictions include:
• Lake Shore Drive will be shut down at Fullerton Avenue on the north and at I-55 to the south.
• All Downtown bridges will be raised with the exception of: LaSalle Street, Harrison Street, Ida B. Wells, Lake Shore Drive, Columbus Avenue, Kinzie Street and Grand Avenue.
• All expressway ramps from Roosevelt Road to Division Street will be closed.
• CTA trains will not run Downtown. Buses will continue to run, with some re-routing.
• Divvy service will not be available east of Ashland Avenue between Cermak Road and North Avenue.
The unrest came hours after police shot a 20-year-old man Sunday in Englewood. In a statement, police said the man fired at police officers, who then shot him. He is recovering.
Hoping to control the crowds Downtown, the city lifted bridges over the Chicago River and shut down expressway entrances. The CTA temporarily suspended service into Downtown from Sunday night into Monday morning.
Similarly, at the end of May and beginning of June, the city shut down the area because of unrest over police killing George Floyd in Minneapolis.
At that time, the city blocked off roads, shut down bus and train service and raised the bridges to keep most people from being able to access the Loop. Only workers and residents were allowed in and out, and they had their identifying information checked by members of the National Guard.
The move was highly criticized, as it led to looting and vandalism moving into more residential neighborhoods.
This time, Lightfoot and Supt. David Brown said they’ll have police officers and city workers in the neighborhoods to protect businesses and residents.
Lightfoot also said she has no plans to bring in the National Guard.
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