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Hyde Park, Woodlawn, South Shore

Obama Center Road Work Will Cause Big Traffic Changes Starting Monday

Closures on Hayes Drive, lane reductions on Cornell Drive and other traffic changes in Jackson Park will go in effect Monday.

The site of the Obama Center under construction in Woodlawn next to Jackson Park, as seen from above on March 7, 2022.
Colin Boyle/Block Club Chicago
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WOODLAWN — More major traffic changes are coming in and around Jackson Park starting next week as crews overhaul the road layout for the Obama Presidential Center, officials said.

A mix of short- and long-term closures, lane reductions and other traffic changes will go into effect Monday, according to the Chicago Department of Transportation.

The short-term impacts will last about three weeks, officials said. The changes:

  • The closure of Hayes Drive between Stony Island Avenue and Cornell Drive.
  • Lane reductions on Cornell Drive between the Midway Plaisance and Stony Island Avenue. Two lanes of traffic will be open in the peak direction during rush hour periods: northbound during the morning rush and southbound during the evening. At all other times, one lane will be open in each direction.

Hayes Drive between Cornell and DuSable Lake Shore drives will also be closed starting Monday and is expected to reopen in the summer. Park users can still access facilities and parking lots along that stretch of Hayes via Richards Drive during the closure.

Drivers seeking to access northbound DuSable Lake Shore Drive will encounter a detour telling them to take Stony Island Avenue north, turn right on the Midway Plaisance, turn left onto Cornell Drive, follow the curve onto 57th Drive, then turn left onto DuSable Lake Shore Drive, transportation officials said.

Amid the changes, the outer southbound lane of DuSable Lake Shore Drive from 57th to Hayes drives will continue to be closed.

Stony Island Avenue will also continue to be narrowed and face parking restrictions until the summer.

Pedestrian underpasses near 59th Street Harbor and near Hayes Drive are also closed. The underpasses at 57th Drive are open.

A map of the traffic changes in and around Jackson Park set to begin next week.

The traffic changes mark the latest phase in a redesign of roads in and around Jackson Park for the Obama Center. In addition to widening DuSable Lake Shore Drive and Stony Island Avenue, planned permanent road changes include:

  • Closing some roads and converting them to park land: Cornell Drive between the Midway Plaisance and Hayes Drive, the northbound section of Cornell Drive between 65th and 68th streets, Marquette Drive between Stony Island Avenue and Richards Drive and the eastbound portion of Midway Plaisance between Stony Island Avenue and Cornell Drive.
  • Changes to other roadways, bike paths and walkways in and around Jackson Park.

The project’s second phase will focus on road work south of 64th Street and take place 2023-2025.

The third phase will focus on building pedestrian underpasses south of 64th Street — including ones at Jeffery Boulevard and South Shore Drive — starting in 2025.

CDOT is set to spend $174 million in state funds on the road projects.

For more information on Obama Center-related road work, visit CDOT’s landing page for Jackson Park.

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