Hearing today on Circle reconstruction plans

Circle interchange

Illinois Department of Transportation planners will give an update on plans for the reconstruction of the Circle interchange. Photo: Creative Commons

Circle Interchange hearing
4 p.m. April 3
Marriott Chicago at Medical       District


Commuters can share their thoughts at an April 3 public hearing about plans to improve the Circle interchange that would impact traffic flow around campus.

Planners will discuss the preferred alternative for construction along I-90/94 from Roosevelt Road to Lake Street and along I-290/Congress Parkway from Canal Street to Racine Avenue.

The hearing takes place from 4 to 7 p.m. at the Marriott Chicago at Medical District, 625 S. Ashland Ave.

Plans call for reconstructing overhead bridges that provide pedestrian access to the Blue Line’s Halsted stop, said Steve Schilke, major projects unit head for the Illinois Department of Transportation.

“We’re coordinating regularly with UIC and when we go under construction, there will be a lot more public outreach,” Schilke said.

The bridges over the expressway at Harrison, Morgan and Peoria streets that provide access to the CTA would not be under construction at the same time, he said.

“We’re trying to stagger them so that we leave two of the three entrances to the Halsted stop of the Blue Line open at any given time,” he said.

If funding for the project becomes available, preliminary construction could begin as early as summer 2014, he said.

The $420 million road improvement project aims to improve traffic flow in the Circle Interchange, ranked as the most-congested interchange in the country in a study by the American Transportation Research Institute and the Federal Highway Administration Office of Freight Management and Operations.

“Strengthening our transportation system drives economic growth for generations to come while creating thousands of jobs today,” Gov. Pat Quinn said. “Reconstructing the Circle Interchange will ease congestion, move people and freight more efficiently and clean up the environment by reducing emissions from idling vehicles.”


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