CHICAGO — A project to relieve congestion at a major expressway hub in the West Loop is officially moving forward despite concerns from some community detractors.
Wednesday marked the official start of construction on the four-year, $475 million overhaul of the Circle Interchange, where Congress Parkway intersects with the Kennedy, Eisenhower and Dan Ryan expressways, according to a statement from Gov. Pat Quinn's office.
The exchange is one of the worst traffic bottlenecks in that nation and sees about 400,000 vehicles per day, according to the Illinois Department of Transportation. The construction will reduce traffic delays by 50 percent, the statement said.
"Not only will this endeavor to create thousands of jobs for Illinois workers, the new Circle Interchange will help local businesses and industry move products, and drivers will reduce the time they spend in their cars each day," Quinn said.
Not everyone is happy about the project.
The project will provide a minimum of four lanes of traffic in each direction on Interstate 90/94 where it meets Interstate 290; two lanes on the north-to-west and east-to-north ramps, and local access lanes for northbound an southbound I-90/94 traffic.
Construction will begin with the Morgan Street bridge.