Circle Interchange project gets rolling

Signs indicating the closure of the Morgan Street bridge

The Morgan Street Bridge and entrance to the CTA Blue Line are closed as construction begins on the Circle Interchange project. Photo: S.K. Vemmer

In about four years, the Circle Interchange will look totally different.

Changes are occurring daily with the $475 million project, which links the Dan Ryan Expressway to the south, Eisenhower Expressway to the west, Congress Parkway to the east and Kennedy Expressway to the north.

The project is in its first phase, but it’s already affecting travel to and from UIC.

The Morgan Street Bridge has been closed, as well as the westbound I-290 exit ramp to Morgan Street, until the end of April 2014. The detour for the bridge closure is Van Buren Street to Racine Street to Harrison Street.

Detours for the westbound I-290 exit ramp to Morgan Street are: from southbound I-90/94, exit Adams Street; from northbound I-90/94, exit Ashland Avenue, backtrack east via Jackson Boulevard or Harrison Street. Exiting access is prohibited from westbound I-290/Congress Parkway.

The Morgan Street entrance and ramp to the platform of the UIC-Halsted Street CTA Blue Line train station closed Sept. 23. It will be shuttered until the construction of the Morgan Street Bridge is complete.

The CTA entrance and exits to the Peoria Street Bridge will remain open until the Morgan Street Bridge is rebuilt and that entrance and ramp to the train station are reopened.

In preparation for work on the Peoria Street Bridge next year, the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) will begin collecting soil samples Wednesday from 19 different sites adjacent to both ends of the bridge – near College of Urban Planning and Public Affairs Hall to the north and between the bridge and Harrison Street to the south. Most of the work will be done by boring through portions of the sidewalks to gather samples of the soil.

The samples will be tested for contaminants, which will determine whether the soil can be reused or disposed of safely.

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