What you need to know about dealing with delays

CHICAGO — Some have begun to adjust to longer commute times and delays on the Kennedy Freeway due to construction, while others have found alternative ways to commute as years of projects take off.

Greg Marcuse said his old 45-minute commute from Elgin to Bucktown was Construction of the Kennedy Highway I started in March.

“We’re looking at 20 hours and 20 hours on good days, 1 hour and 10 hours, 1 hour and 30 hours on bad days, like if it rains,” Marquez said.

He leaves home half an hour early and even tries side streets to beat the traffic.

“In the last six weeks or so, I’ve taken some strange routes to my office that I didn’t even know existed,” he said. “At the end of the day, was there any difference? Maybe a little, because everyone does the same thing.”

Unfortunately for him and other drivers, it’s not a short-term inconvenience.

Three years of lane closures await.

“It’s optimistic,” Marquez said. “They can’t control the weather.

That’s quite a concern for Chicago drivers who have just finished dealing with it. Jane Byrne Interchange Projectwent from an infamous four-year project to a nine-year project.

How long will the construction of the Kennedy Expressway last?

John Schumacher of the Illinois Department of Transportation said the Kennedy project is different.

He believes a three-year timeframe is realistic.

“This is a rehabilitation project, a less intrusive range of work,” he said. “There is so much more that we know about this project.

The crew is repairing the deck of the Kennedy Bridge between Montrose and Ohio.

“The contractor will remove the existing surface, which is all perforated, remove all the loose concrete from it, and put a new latex concrete surface on top of it,” Schumacher said.

The goal is to modify the deck of the bridge to avoid larger problems that would cause unplanned emergency closures, such as those seen on Interstate 55 and U.S. 53 in Bolingbrook. .

The plan with Kennedy is to work on the inbound side this year, the express lane next year, and the outbound side in 2025.

Meanwhile, a major alternative is also under construction.

Illinois Toll Roads Are Working Interstate 294 and the Chicago Department of Transportation Repave DuSable Lake Shore Drive.

“We have met with all the other organizations and coordinated their work to understand what they are going to do,” said Schumacher. “They know what we’re going to do. A lot of that is also how long the infrastructure will last. Sometimes you’re forced, your hands are forced.”

Metra Sees Rise in Passenger Numbers Due to Kennedy Freeway Construction

File: On Sept. 14, 2022, on Interstates 90 and 94 in Chicago, Metra Commuter Trains operated by the Illinois Regional Transit Authority travel to downtown Chicago via the Kennedy Expressway. (AP photo/Kiichiro Sato)

with Michael Gillis Metra Transportation agencies hope this will be an opportunity to prove that it is a viable alternative to driving.

It’s struggling to get commuters back after the pandemic.

“I think people will keep coming,” Gillis said. “They’ll probably try Kennedy, see how bad it is, get on the Metra, and realize we’re soaring past them.”

Metra cut its schedule by almost half when the pandemic started and is now back on track. Metra is currently running about 95% of its pre-pandemic service (658 trains vs. 692 trains now), but passenger numbers are only 50-55% of their pre-pandemic levels.

There are four lines serving the areas affected by the Kennedy construction. Below is some Metra data on the increase in passenger numbers seen on these four routes.

METRA UP-NW It processed its highest post-pandemic passenger trip of 25,900 on Wednesday, April 12, marking the biggest increase. The previous six Wednesdays averaged 19,900. This April 12 high represents 65% of the average weekday ridership on the route in April 2019 (the last year before the pandemic). Eight of the top 10 post-pandemic weekdays on the line have occurred since Kennedy construction began. Metra added service to the line in his April and now offers more than it did pre-pandemic.

Metra MD-N There were 13,200 passengers on Tuesday, April 18, compared to an average of 11,700 for the last six Tuesdays. This April 18 high represents 60% of the line’s April 2019 average weekday ridership. Seven of the top 10 post-pandemic weekdays on the line have occurred since Kennedy construction began.

Metra NCS There were 2,800 passengers on Tuesday, April 25, compared to an average of 2,540 for the previous six Tuesdays. This April 25 high represents 53% of the line’s April 2019 average weekday ridership. Five of the top 10 post-pandemic weekdays on the line have occurred since Kennedy construction began.

Metra Up N Passenger numbers were 24,900 on Wednesday, April 19, compared to an average of 20,900 over the past six days. This April 19 high represents 71% of the line’s April 2019 average weekday ridership. Five of the top 10 post-pandemic weekdays on the line have occurred since Kennedy construction began.

Construction wasn’t the only factor, as other non-Kennedy replacement lines also hit highs in April, but it certainly had a big impact, according to Metra.

Metra is currently offering a $100 monthly pass through the end of the can see Click here for the schedule. and Here is the trend of the occupancy rate.


CTAs are another option for commuters.

The CTA says there has been a slight increase in morning ridership on the Blue Line since construction began on the Kennedy. It is not yet known if it is directly due to construction or if it is also due to a seasonal increase in passenger numbers.

CTA has Park and Ride parking lots in Cumberland and Rosemont, both garages have space. Drivers can park up to 14 hours for $7. Then board the CTA Blue Line for the rest of the way.

CTAs recently live video feed This allows commuters to see the status of a particular Blue Line station platform, so they can see how busy it is at a particular time of day and decide when to move on.

CTA is typically seeing more passenger demand on the Blue Line at its O’Hare branch from 6-9:30 a.m. and 3-6 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday.Peak passenger numbers are typically between 7:45am and 8:45am

Many pace routes connect to the UP-NW Line, MD-N Line, NCS Line and the CTA Blue Line at Rosemont, Cumberland, Harlem and Jefferson Park. To see if Pace is a useful option for your commute, take a look below. Paced trip planner.

$30 for CTA and Pace Regional Connect Pass For Metra Monthly Passholders who get unlimited rides on CTA and Pace every month with no day or time restrictions.

Detour to avoid Kennedy highway construction

If public transportation is not a viable solution, fast lanes have shorter inbound travel times on average than rightmost lanes.

Also, commuters should avoid commuting during peak hours. The new morning peak is now about an hour later, around 9:20 a.m., according to IDOT

If you can adjust your schedule but still want to avoid construction delays on the Kennedy Expressway, you have a few options.

Consider taking North Milwaukee Avenue or North Elston Avenue.

If you are traveling from western suburbssome routes can use the Eisenhower Highway.

How people adapt to road construction projects

Hani Mamasani, director of the transportation center at Northwestern University, said once a long-term project like this is launched, commuters will likely take new routes, adjust their schedules, or use public transit. said to start testing options by avoiding cities together.

“If disruptions persist, these alternatives include finding other destinations, cancellations, etc.,” Mahmasani said. “So the concern is that the economy and cities are reviving. Many companies that are trying really hard to get their workers back are facing higher costs for their users. doing.”

Travel time data from the Illinois Department of Transportation shows that travel times have increased from last year to this year since construction began.

Inbound Kennedy: From O’Hare to Ohio

  • 2022: April 10, 2022 to May 8, 2022 (weekdays)
  • 2023: April 10, 2023 to May 8, 2023 (weekdays)
Times of Day 2022 2023
6 am 15 minutes half an hour
7:00 am 26 minutes 41 minutes
8 am 45 minutes 48 minutes
9 am 40 minutes 50 minutes
10 am 25 minutes 55 minutes
11 am 21 minutes 45 minutes
noon 22 minutes 43 minutes
1 p.m. 25 minutes 40 minutes
3 pm 40 minutes 32 minutes
4 pm 45 minutes 40 minutes
(Note: Total Traffic Network dates show longer travel times than provided by IDOT)

Night lane closures for another project on the Kennedy Expressway

on monday, Milling and surfacing operations Night lane and some ramp closures are required on the down lane between Madison and Ohio streets in Chicago.

This is separate from the bridge renovation work.

At least one outbound lane will remain open at all times, according to IDOT.

Depending on the weather, the following times are scheduled.

  • Sunday – Thursday 10pm – 5am
  • Friday 10pm to Saturday 8am
  • Saturday 10pm to Sunday 10am

Work is expected to be completed by the end of summer. What you need to know about dealing with delays

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