WEST LOOP — After two months of waiting, the traffic signals at the busy Fulton and Halsted intersection are finally working.
In an effort to improve safety at the intersection, the traffic signals were installed on Sept. 25 near the Fulton Market gateway, but weren't turned on. The lights were finally operational just before the Thanksgiving holiday, neighbors confirmed.
The long-awaited Google offices, located near the intersection, opened about a week later.
When the lights still weren't turned on at the beginning of November, neighbors grew frustrated. At the time, Mike Claffey, Chicago Department of Transportation spokesman, said ComEd had not yet connected the traffic signals to a power source.
A power source did not previously exist at the site, he said.
The signal installation is part of Mayor Rahm Emanuel's Fulton Market Innovation District, a $42 million plan designed to help shape development in the West Loop. The plan, announced in early 2014, calls for millions of dollars to be spent on infrastructure improvements including sidewalk and road repairs.
Most of those dollars, including money to build a gateway, will come from the Kinzie Industrial Corridor tax increment financing district set up in 1998. As of 2013, the TIF district had a balance of about $70 million.
The new traffic signals come after the $500,000 gateway marking the entrance of the booming Fulton Market district was installed in February. The decorative gateway, at Fulton Street near Halsted Street, was installed with tax increment financing funds from the Kinzie Industrial Corridor.
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