Circle reconstruction brings new entrance to campus

Peoria St perspective from bridge to north

The reconstruction of the Peoria Street Bridge for the Circle Interchange project will bring a new pedestrian walkway from the CTA Blue Line station to the campus entrance on Harrison Street.


Improvements to the Peoria Street CTA Blue Line Station will bring a more park-like entry to campus.

As the Illinois Department of Transportation reconfigures the Peoria Street Bridge as part of the Circle Interchange project, the pedestrian walkway from the Blue Line to campus across Harrison Street will change. Trees were removed and temporary fences are up, but the result will be an improved campus entrance, said Michael Landek, executive associate vice chancellor for administrative services.

“The idea behind the reconfiguring of that space is to make access more appealing, to make it safer and bring the three crosswalks that we have going to Harrison Street down to one,” Landek said. “It’s really a bonus for UIC because we’re not funding a dime of this project, and yet IDOT is creating a very attractive entryway.”

Consolidating the three walkways that link pedestrians to campus from the CTA Blue Line will also make it easier for drivers on Harrison Street.

“It’s difficult to navigate if you’re a driver because you’re constantly wondering where students are coming from,” Landek said. “This funnels all of the pedestrian traffic.”

Peoria St rendering from Harrison to north

Consolidating the three crosswalks into one across Harrison Street to campus will increase pedestrian safety, planners say.

Trees that were removed for the construction work will be replaced with new plantings, he said. “It will make it more than a walkway, but a pleasant entry space where people can congregate and visit.”

Other Circle Interchange updates:

The Morgan Street Bridge and CTA Blue Line Station are scheduled to reopen Friday. The partially completed bridge will provide temporary access to the station.

The Peoria Street Bridge, its CTA Blue Line Station and the pedestrian walkway to CUPPA Hall are scheduled to close for construction June 2.

The structural beams to the Halsted Street Bridge spanning the Eisenhower Expressway have been removed and reconstruction of the support columns should begin soon. The Halsted Street Blue Line Station is scheduled to remain open during the bridge’s renovation.

Utility work on westbound Harrison Street will continue for several weeks and lanes will be closed temporarily. Eastbound traffic lanes will remain open.

— Sam Hostettler contributed to this story.

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