Spring construction to snare Chicago area commutes - KMSP-TV

Spring construction to snare Chicago area commutes

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

We may still be in the grips of a vicious polar vortex, but it's never too early to plan ahead for Chicago's next season: Construction.

As a lifelong Chicagoan and commuter, FOX 32's Sondra Solarte understands the importance of knowing just how much extra time a roadwork project will add to your commute.

The three biggest projects this spring will be the Ohio/Ontario Street Bridge work, the Circle Interchange and the Stony Island feeder ramp projects, according to the Illinois Department of Transportation.

It won't be easy for drivers to get in and out of downtown starting early this summer, when crews will begin work on the Ohio and Ontario Street feeder ramp bridges over the Kennedy Expressway. Crews will work closely with city officials regarding the weekend closures of the Kennedy, so that this $18 million project wraps up on time by fall of 2014.

The anticipated construction work on the Circle Interchange kicked off last fall. The good news for commuters this year? The primary focus will be on the arterial bridges, not the main ramps that connect the Kennedy, Eisenhower and Dan Ryan Expressways.

The Circle Interchange needs a major overhaul. It was built in the late 1950's and voted the slowest and most congested interchange in the country by the American Transportation Society. The multi-year $420 million program won't dramatically affect commuters until late 2015.

Expect closures on the ramp from the outbound Dan Ryan to the Stony Island connector in early spring.

Planning ahead will definitely help ease your stress. FOX 32 News will have the latest closures, delays and updated alternate routes in the Traffic section of www.myfoxchicago.com.

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