NEAR WEST SIDE — The Harrison Street Bridge will shut down for six months starting Monday, as the state begins its massive overhaul of the ramps that connect the Dan Ryan, Kennedy and Eisenhower expressways.
The overhaul is part of a $475 million revamp of that intersection — known as the Circle Interchange — which has been described as one of the worst bottlenecks in the country, according to the Illinois Department of Transportation.
The bridge — which runs over the Dan Ryan between Halsted Street and Desplaines Avenue — will be closed to both cars and pedestrians until Sept. 1, according to Jae Miller, a spokeswoman for the Illinois Department of Transportation. Construction on the bridge had originally been scheduled to start Feb. 3.
Westbound Harrison traffic will detour north on Jefferson Street to Van Buren Street to southbound Racine Street. Eastbound Harrison traffic should travel north on Racine to Jackson Boulevard to southbound Desplaines, then eastbound on Harrison, officials said.
The bridge is being closed so crews can rebuild it and install lighting and traffic signals, IDOT says on its website.
Construction will also affect the Halsted bridge from Harrison to Van Buren from March 10 through May 2015. Traffic will be reduced to one lane in each direction during that time. Commuters will still be able to access to CTA Blue Line trains.
Construction on the Morgan Street Bridge, which has been closed since September, is scheduled to be finished by April 30, according to IDOT's website.
Both the No. 7 Harrison and No. 60 Blue Island/26th buses will be detoured. Eastbound buses will run via Harrison, Halsted, and Jackson streets to Canal with No. 7 buses resuming their normal route on Jackson and No. 60 Blue Island/26th buses resuming their normal route on Canal. Westbound buses will operate via Clinton, Taylor, and Halsted streets and then resume their regular routes along Harrison.
The Blue Line won't be affected by the Harrison bridge project, but this weekend — from 10 p.m. Friday until 4 a.m. Monday — only a single track will be used between the UIC-Halsted, Clinton and LaSalle stations. Riders, who should expect delays, will have to board trains on the westbound side no matter which direction they are headed.
Ultimately, the Circle Interchange revamp 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 and southbound I-90/94 traffic, IDOT said.