Next phase of Wacker reconstruction reopens one intersection, closes 2 others
Construction crews work on the Wacker entrance ramp to Congress Parkway along the Chicago River on Sept. 12, 2011. (E. Jason Wambsgans, Chicago Tribune)
The upper and lower levels of the 60-year-old north-south section of Wacker are being rebuilt from Lake Street to Congress Parkway through late 2012 to improve safety and traffic flow for vehicles, pedestrians and bicyclists, said officials at the Chicago Department of Transportation.
The result will be a wider roadway, a new ramp from the upper to lower level at Monroe and a new left-turn lane for northbound Wacker at Randolph. In addition, the double merge from Lower Wacker and the Franklin Street ramp onto westbound Congress will be replaced by a single-merge lane from Lower Wacker that provides a longer distance for drivers to find an opening in traffic, officials said. Until late this year, work continues at the Wacker/Congress interchange.
The closing of the Wacker-Monroe and Wacker-Adams intersections will mean that 60,000 vehicles that use Upper and Lower Wacker each day will be detoured.
Starting Monday, there will be street closings, traffic detours and reroutings of 18 CTA bus lines that usually operate along Wacker. Details on the bus service changes are available at www.transitchicago.com/wacker.
Madison will reopen over the weekend to westbound traffic. Sidewalks along Madison will also reopen to pedestrian traffic, officials said.
When the Monroe and Adams intersections reopen in July, the Jackson Boulevard and Van Buren Street intersections at Wacker will close for reconstruction through the end of the year, said CDOT spokesman Bill McCaffrey.