CHICAGO — Avoid the Drive — at least at night.
That's the message the Illinois Department of Transportation is telling drivers, as a resurfacing project begans Monday night and will continue overnight for the next five weeks.
The project will close two and sometimes three lanes in both directions between North Avenue and Balbo Drive from 8 p.m.-6 a.m. Monday through Thursday nights, according to IDOT.
Drivers may face long delays, and IDOT is recommending drivers allow extra time if they travel on that portion of Lake Shore Drive or avoid it altogether.
"Motorists should expect delays and are encouraged to take alternate routes," said IDOT spokesman Paris Ervin.
The work should have no impact on traffic during daytime hours, and drivers should expect normal commute times during morning and evening rush hours, Ervin said.
While IDOT believes the project should take only five weeks to complete, the weather could impact the final completion date.
"The contract is 20 working days," explained Ervin. "The contractor is restricted to working four nights per week according to the traffic control special provisions. Therefore we anticipate that it will take approximately five weeks. If the contractor is unable to work some nights, due to inclement weather, it could take longer."
Ervin says drivers can look forward to a much smoother ride along Lake Shore Drive when the project is completed in early November.
"This work is expected to improve the riding surface by intermittent milling and resurfacing of the areas where the surface has broken up, cracked or heaved," said Ervin.
This is the third construction project on Lake Shore Drive in the past 13 months.
Last November, the Chicago Department of Transportation completed a similar re-paving project on 2.75 miles of Lake Shore Drive between between North and Belmont avenues, as well as between Sheridan and Foster avenues.
At the same time, a separate project by the Chicago Department of Transportation had closed the northbound entrance ramp to Lake Shore Drive at Michigan Avenue and Oak Street for six weeks for major structural and electrical repairs to the viaduct that leads from Michigan Avenue onto the northbound drive.