Second phase of Wacker Drive construction to begin, buses to be rerouted

June 30, 2011

(WBEZ/Landon Cassman)
Intersection of Randolph and Wacker set to open after completion of construction project.
(WBEZ/Landon Cassman)
The second phase of Wacker Drive reconstruction is set to begin July 5.
(WBEZ/Landon Cassman)
Construction will improve safety for pedestrians and also enhance aesthetics of the area.

The Wacker Drive reconstruction project known as Revive Wacker Drive is on track to complete on time and within budget despite experiencing nasty winter weather, CDOT Commissioner Gabe Klein said Thursday in a press conference at the intersection of Wacker and Randolph. Reconstruction of roadway from Randolph to Washington has been finished within the six month deadline – Washington is scheduled to reopen to traffic Thursday evening as well as on Upper Wacker from Lake to Randolph.

Starting July 5, the second part of the $300 million construction project will begin on Wacker, shutting down Madison from Canal to Franklin -- construction is scheduled to complete in December.  The construction means rerouting on the following 14 bus lines: #11 Lincoln/Sedgwick, #14 Jeffery Express, #19 United Center Express, # 20 Madison, # 56 Milwaukee, # 60 Blue Island/26th, # 120 Ogilvie/Wacker Express, #121 Union/Wacker Express, #122 Illinois Center/Ogilvie Express, #123 Illinois Center/Union Express, #124 Navy Pier, #125 Water Tower Express, #129 West Loop/South Loop, #157 Streeterville/Taylor.

A CTA spokesperson said that staff will be out on the streets to assist passengers getting where they’re going, and public transit will be the best mode of transportation in the city during this construction period.

According to chief engineer John Yonan, the reconstruction to the 55-year-old street will increase safety by creating safer, more efficient roadways for motorists, pedestrians, and cyclists. Specific changes include wider roadways, a new ramp from the upper to lower level at Monroe Street and  a new left-turn lane for northbound Wacker at Randolph.

“With fewer access points [to Wacker],” said CDOT Commissioner Gabe Klein, “there will be fewer conflicts and less stopping and starting.”

Less stopping and starting will allow traffic to move more smoothly and get drivers to their destinations more quickly, Klein said.