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Taste of Chicago Already Closing Downtown Streets A Week Before It Starts

DOWNTOWN — The Taste of Chicago might not start until next week, but it's already causing delays for morning commuters driving near Grant Park. 

City officials on Wednesday closed stretches of Jackson and Columbus drives as they prepare for the big annual food festival beginning July 5 in Chicago's premier park. 

Columbus has been closed from Roosevelt Road to Monroe Street and Jackson has been closed from Lake Shore Drive to Michigan Avenue, said Melissa Stratton, a spokeswoman for the city's Office of Emergency Management and Communications. The closures will last until about 4 p.m. July 10, a day after the Taste wraps up. 

East Congress Parkway at Michigan Avenue was shut down Wednesday morning.

The closures were a surprise to many morning commuters stuck in traffic Wednesday. Some took to Twitter to air their grievances:

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