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2015 Archive - Major Infrastructure Projects

Garland Court Traffic Reversal between Randolph Street and Washington Street to begin Monday, August 17

August 12, 2015


In order to improve traffic flow and address safety concerns related to two ongoing infrastructure projects in the Loop - construction of the CTA's Washington & Wabash Elevated Station and Loop Link Bus Rapid Transit - the Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT) will reconfigure the flow of traffic on Garland Court, between Randolph Street and Washington Street, converting it from one-way northbound to one-way southbound.
Work on this traffic reversal is scheduled to begin nextMonday, August 17, 2015, and with construction, the following changes will occur on Garland Court between Randolph Street and Washington Street:
  • Garland Court will be closed to through traffic during work hours for approximately two weeks, weather depending. However, access will be maintained for those who live and work on Garland Court. While a lane of traffic will be maintained to allow traffic to exit Garland Court onto Randolph Street, a flagger will be present to control the flow of traffic during working hours and drivers can expect occasional short delays.
  • The bump-out at the southeast corner of Garland Court and Randolph Street will be removed to coordinate with the one-way ordinance and once complete, allow vehicles traveling westbound on Randolph Street to turn left onto southbound Garland Court.
  • A barrier wall will be temporarily installed in the parking lane on the south side of Randolph Street to provide pedestrian unimpeded access during construction.
  • Street signs will be changed to reflect the new traffic reconfiguration.
This project will be managed by the Chicago Department of Transportation, but if you require any additional information, please contact the contractor, Sumit Construction at 773-276-4600.



Lower Lower Wacker Update: New Infrastructure Installed; No Cruising Zone Coming Soon

July 25, 2015


Alderman Reilly is happy to announce that the Chicago Department of Transportation installed a series of speed humps, jersey barricades, and safety signage on Lower Lower Wacker Drive earlier this week. This new infrastructure aims to eliminate late-night drag racing and drifting contests in the New Eastside neighborhood that were reported in the 7-20-15 Reilly Reports email.


Speed humps were installed between the supports on Lower Lower Wacker Drive, between the concrete wall abutting the Hyatt Regency Chicago loading area, and Stetson Avenue.



Additional speed humps were installed this week at strategic locations along Lower Lower Wacker Drive for both eastbound and westbound directions of traffic: between Stetson Avenue and Columbus Drive; and Columbus Drive and Field Boulevard.



Newly painted concrete jersey barriers have been installed at the Lower Lower Wacker Drive crossings with Stetson Avenue and Columbus Drive in order to reduce the width of the intersections.



Alderman Reilly will also introduce a number of ordinances at next week's City Council meeting to make Lower Lower Wacker Drive between Stetson Avenue and Field Boulevard a No Stopping / No Standing / No Parking Tow Zone during the late-evening /early-morning hours, between 11:00pm - 4:00am all days.


Another ordinance will establish a "No Cruising Zone" in the area bounded by Wacker Drive, Randolph Street, Lake Shore Drive and Michigan Avenue on all street levels. "No Cruising Zones" prohibit motorists from driving through a cruise-free zone more than once in a one-hour period. Violations can result in a written notice for passing through twice; followed by a $100 fine if a third passage is observed within the same one-hour timeframe. The fine will increase to $200 for the second offense and $300 for the third or subsequent offenses if the violations occur within one year.


These ordinances will provide another enforcement tool for the Chicago Police Department to prevent large groups of vehicles from gathering or cruising through the streets in the New Eastside.


Alderman Reilly would like to thank the Chicago Police Department and Chicago Department of Transportation for their efforts to address this very serious neighborhood safety concern.



Washington WabashElevated Station Construction Project 

March 3, 2015


CDOT Commissioner Rebekah Scheinfeld has an important update on construction for the new Washington Wabash Elevated CTA Station.




Greetings all Businesses, Residents and Property Owners,


The City of Chicago's Department of Transportation (CDOT) in conjunction with the CTA and private utilities are in the process of proceeding with the proposed construction of the CTA Washington/Wabash Elevated Station in the Loop.


This will involve the closure of Wabash Ave. to vehicular traffic from Washington St. to Madison St. starting Monday, March 9th, 2015, lasting for approximately 18 months.

  • All business frontage and sidewalk will remain accessible throughout the duration of the project.
  • Valet and delivery drop-off zones will remain open on Madison and Washington Streets.
  • Sidewalk canopies with clear plexi-glass windows will be erected for the safety of pedestrians passing near the work zone.
  • The majority of the project work will take place during daytime hours.
  • Limited evening and overnight work will be necessary when CTA elevated system rail closures are required.

The CTA Madison Street Elevated Station is set to close onMarch 16th, 2015 in order to begin the demolition of the existing station.


Throughout the project, CDOT and CTA have been committed to carrying out an extensive stakeholder outreach process. This has included more than 70 meetings with more than 150 stakeholders. The purpose of the outreach process has been to provide updates, collect feedback and make any necessary modifications to accommodate curbside needs and to minimize operational impacts. This process will continue during the construction phase.


CDOT will be hosting bi-weekly construction update meetings to keep stakeholders informed about progress on the project, upcoming stage changes and any scheduled evening work. These meetings will commence on Tuesday, March 10th, 10:00am at the project field office located at 218 S. Wabash, Suite 500. All stakeholders are encouraged to attend to receive the latest project information and ask any questions they may have.


If you require further information about the project or have any additional concerns please contact of the following:


Burns & McDonnell - Construction Management Team

  • Thomas A. McCay - Senior Construction Manager
    Mobile: 773-251-0367, Email: tmccay@burnsmcd.com
  • Mark Leise - Construction Manager Assistant 
    Mobile: 630-514-0858, Email: mleise@burnsmcd.com

Utility Coordination Contacts - ComEd / HBK Engineering

For more information about the Washington / Wabash CTA Loop Elevated Station, click on the following links to download the project brochure, renderings or view the most recent construction update.



LaSalleBridgeLaSalle Street Bridge Improvements Complete!

January 27, 2015


Alderman Reilly is pleased to announce the completion of a significant improvement project on the LaSalle Street Bridge over the Chicago River.  The Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT) sandblasted the rusted areas, power cleaned the remaining structure, and appliedthree coats of fresh paint.  In addition, a new anti-slip coating system was applied to the bridge sidewalks. 

The LaSalle Street Bridge carries approximately 23,000 vehicles each day and was last painted in 1996.  This project was funded with federal and state funding and was completed in November, 2014.  


The below photos illustrate the bridge's before and after condition. 










New Turn Arrows Installed at the Intersection of Columbus Drive and Randolph Street

September 4, 2015


Alderman Reilly is very pleased to announce the recent installation of new turn arrows at the intersection of Upper Columbus Drive and Randolph Street! 

A number of neighborhood residents contacted Alderman Reilly's office to report traffic congestion created by the "No Turn on Red" restrictions that govern westbound and southbound traffic at this intersection. This restriction created traffic congestion because vehicles were not able to turn during the green signal phase due to conflicts with pedestrians in the crosswalk. Heavy pedestrian traffic often permitted only 1-2 vehicles to complete their turn during the green signal phase. 

Alderman Reilly requested that the Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT) review this intersection to determine if the "No Turn on Red" restrictions could be removed.  After their survey, CDOT did not recommend the removal of the "No Turn on Red" restrictions. However, at the Alderman's request, CDOT evaluated this intersection for installation of turn arrows to provide turning vehicles their own signal phase.  CDOT recommended that the following arrows be installed to improve traffic movement at this intersection:

Right-turn arrows 
Westbound to northbound movement on Randolph. 
Southbound to westbound movement on Columbus.

Left-turn arrows 
Eastbound to northbound movement on Randolph. 
Southbound to eastbound movement on Columbus.

Alderman Reilly allocated a portion of the Aldermanic Menu to fund this important infrastructure improvement.  These signals were recently installed and activated.

The photos below illustrate the new turn arrows in use:




Navy Pier Flyover Construction Update: Upcoming Work to Impact Pedestrian and Vehicular Traffic

July 2, 2015


NOTE: The start of the work detailed below has been pushed back to late July.


Activity continues on the Navy Pier Flyover, an elevated path along the Lakefront Trail near Navy Pier. Once complete, the dedicated bike and pedestrian path will extend from the Chicago River Bridge to Jane Addams Park and provide a safer and scenic alternative to several congested intersections along the Lakefront Trail.


The first phase of construction began in March 2014. Ongoing work includes making structural connections for steel bridge spine sections between Ohio Street Beach and Grand Avenue, and between Illinois Street and Ogden Slip.


Upcoming work scheduled for July, where the steel spine will be set on shoring towers over Grand Avenue, Lake Shore Drive, and Illinois Street, will affect pedestrian and vehicular traffic during daytime and evening hours on all three streets.


This work will be completed in three separate stages, beginning at Grand Avenue (5 week duration), followed by Lake Shore Drive (3 week duration) and ending at Illinois Street (5 week duration).


Beginning Monday, July 13, Grand Avenue (east of Lake Shore Drive):  

  • Will be reduced to two westbound lanes and the right turn lane to the ramp onto northbound LSD.  
  • The eastbound lane for Lake Point Tower garage access and the southernmost westbound lane will be closed.  
    • Detour for Lake Point Tower Access Lane will be eastbound Illinois to northbound Streeter to westbound Grand
  • The island at the northeast corner of Grand and lower LSD will be closed and pedestrians will be routed to the south sidewalk of Grand.  
  • Intermittent night-time closures from 10:00pm to 6:00am

Approximately 2 to 3 weeks after the work on Grand starts, the work between Lake Shore Drive and Lake Point Tower will require:  

  • Daily closures of two lanes on upper LSD between Illinois and Grand from 9:30am to 4:00pm.
  • The east sidewalk of lower LSD will be closed and pedestrians will be detoured around Lake Point Tower and onto the west sidewalk of lower LSD.

After the work on Grand is complete, the work over Illinois begins and will require:  

  • Illinois to be reduced to two lanes near the intersection of Illinois and lower LSD. The southern eastbound lane will be closed.
  • Intermittent night-time closures from 10:00pm to 6:00am

Construction news, detours and closures are available on the project website: www.navypierflyover.com.



Construction for Loop Link Transit Project Begins March 16th

March 3, 2015


The City will soon begin construction on the newly named Loop Link Bus Rapid Transit, and two additional projects, the Union Station Transit Center and Washington-Wabash "L" Station.




The Loop Link is a modern transportation upgrade on Washington, Madison, Clinton and Canal Streets that bring order to congested downtown streets:

  • Buses, carrying nearly half of all travelers to this corridor, will use a dedicated lane.
  • Drivers will use two dedicated travel lanes, helping them avoid bus and bicycle traffic.
  • Bicyclists will use protected lanes on Randolph, Washington and Clinton to get to their destinations safely.

The Loop Link will move people downtown faster and with better reliability, while improving the connections between neighborhoods across the city to jobs and attractions in Chicago's Central Business District. Service to six bus lines, J14, 20, 56, 60, 124 and 157, will be improved by eliminating bottlenecks on the most congested portion of the routes and speeding their passage through downtown.




The Union Station Transit Center will create a new off-street CTA bus-boarding center just south of Union Station on Jackson between Canal and Clinton. It will include sheltered staging for buses and a vertical connection, with elevator, to an existing Amtrak underground pedway, allowing commuters to access Union Station without crossing at street level. The transit center will provide key connections between other modes of transportation to the Loop Link.




The new Washington-Wabash CTA Station will replace two century-old stations at Madison and Randolph with a single modern, fully accessible station with wider platforms and a striking architectural design.


Collectively, these three downtown infrastructure projects will redevelop and modernize transportation from Union Station to Millennium Park.


Loop Link Transit Improvements:

The Loop Link project is designed to make bus travel more reliable and appealing for bus commuters that travel across the corridor each day, providing a balanced separation of bus, bike and regular traffic lanes.


Improvements include:

  • Eight Loop Link stations will be built on Washington and Madison between Wacker and Michigan.
  • All stations will accommodate more people, provide generous seating for waiting customers, have bus-tracking monitors, and raised station platforms to provide easier level boarding.
  • Loop Link stations will be transparent to ensure street-level businesses are completely visible.
  • Colored pavement markings and enhanced signage will clearly delineate the bus lanes.
  • Traffic signals will be modified at key intersections to provide an early green light time for buses.
  • Traffic signals will improve turning movements for motorists off Loop Link streets, allowing more people to turn left or right during each green light phase.
  • New protected bike lanes with bike traffic signals will be installed on Washington and Randolph from Clinton to Michigan, and a new two-way protected bike lane will be installed on Clinton. Existing bike lanes on Madison and Canal will be removed.



Loop Link Traffic Impacts:

The Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT) is pursuing an aggressive construction schedule to lower costs, minimize long-term impacts and deliver completion of the project as quickly as possible. Construction is scheduled to start March 16, 2015.


Construction will begin with lane closures initially on westbound Madison at Wabash Avenue and on southbound Clinton at Randolph Street:

  • Traffic will be reduced to two lanes in the construction zone on weekdays during business hours for the duration of the project. Lane closures will extend one block at a time over several weeks.
  • Periodically, there will be the need for additional lane closures overnight and on weekends.
  • There will be no road closures or detours on Washington, Madison, Canal or Clinton Streets.
  • All garages and alleys will remain accessible.
  • Drivers can expect delays in areas where lanes are reduced to two lanes and motorists are sharing lanes with buses during construction.
  • All bus routes traveling through the construction area will be maintained. There are currently no re-routes or detours anticipated, but some bus stops will be temporarily relocated during construction.
  • All streets under construction will be open to people riding bikes, and signs will be posted alerting bicyclists and motorists to share the road.
  • Motorists and bicyclists should allow extra travel time in the construction zone or consider using alternative routes through the loop.

Anticipated Construction Schedule:

  • March 2015 - Loop Link construction starts simultaneously on Madison Street (at Wabash, progressing westbound) and Clinton Street (at Randolph, progressing southbound)
  • April 2015 - Union Station Transit Center construction begins on the south side of Jackson Boulevard between Clinton and Canal.
  • Spring 2015 - Loop Link construction starts simultaneously on Washington Street (at Clinton, progressing eastbound) and Canal Street (at Van Buren, progressing northbound)
  • Late Summer 2015 - Construction, including repaving and installation of a bike lane, starts on Randolph Street (at Michigan, progressing westbound). NOTE: Water Department construction on Randolph will commence in spring, ahead of Loop Link work.
  • Spring 2016 - Construction on Canal near Union Station to install a median between Adams and Jackson

For more information on the Loop Link, click on the following links to view the most recent construction update, download theofficial press release, project brochure, construction overview, or visit the official website:www.ChicagoLoopLink.com.



Alderman Reilly Delivers Major Upgrades to Viaduct Lighting

January 13, 2015


Alderman Reilly is pleased to announce the completion of a significant lighting improvement underneath the three Metra viaducts that run between Clinton and Canal streets along Lake Street, Randolph Street, and Washington Boulevard in the near-West Loop neighborhood also known as "The Fulton River District".  


Alderman Reilly received numerous requests for improved lighting under these viaducts. These three streets are important daily pedestrian and vehicular transit routes for thousands of residents and commuters, providing access to the Richard B. Ogilvie Transportation Center, the Kennedy Expressway, and the Chicago Loop.


Responding to these concerns, Alderman Reilly worked with the Chicago Department of Transportation to develop a plan to improve lighting under the viaducts. The Alderman initiated this significant infrastructure improvement and allocated a portion of funds from his Aldermanic Menu to fund this work, which was completed in December 2014.


The Chicago Department of Transportation installed a total of 212 new lights under the Lake, Randolph, and Washington Metra viaducts located between Clinton and Canal Streets. The new 150-watt, energy-efficient white light fixtures provide plentiful lighting, enhancing safety for pedestrians and motorists.


These special induction lights were chosen based on their light quality, efficiency, and durability in this environment. Mounting the fixtures on the viaduct structure has two advantages: it allows more space on the sidewalk and it is less expensive than installing underground conduit systems and pole foundations.


Alderman Reilly was pleased to allocate funds from the 42nd Ward Aldermanic Menu for the installation of this important neighborhood safety project.


Lake Street Before / After


Randolph Street Before / After

Washington Boulevard Before / After  




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