Day 78: Wacker Drive

Construction started on Wacker Drive, both lower and upper Wacker, in April 2010 and will continue thru December 2012.

Lower Wacker will see a series of improvements from Randolph to Congress. The deteriorated viaduct structure built in the 1950s will be replaced, lifting the vertical clearance by more than one foot. New lighting will improve visibility and new ventilation equipment will improve air quality. The service drive and through lanes on Lower Wacker will also be separated, alleviating congestion and expediting traffic. Upper Wacker Drive will be significantly improved from Randolph to Congress. Ramps to Lower Wacker Drive at Jackson, Adams and Washington will be removed and replaced with landscaped medians. In addition to the medians, Upper Wacker Drive will be outfitted with sidewalk planters and decorative light fixtures. The ramp at Monroe will be removed and replaced with a new one-way ramp to Lower Wacker Drive.

Crews will work on no more than two intersections at one time. Each section will be closed on a rotating basis for the duration of the project. The Congress Parkway Interchange reconfiguration will help improve traffic safety and create new green space. Improvements include moving the eastbound Congress exit ramp at Franklin below ground and moving the Lower Wacker Drive entrance ramp onto westbound Congress below ground. These improvements allow for three acres of new green space accessible to the public.

Traffic improvements include removing the Franklin ramp onto westbound Congress. This will eliminate the existing double-merge with the Lower Wacker Drive ramp onto westbound Congress. Additionally, the Lower Wacker ramp will have a longer merge lane.

Here are a few images taken of the construction taking place on Upper and Lower Wacker Drive and Madison St.

For more information on the progress of the Wacker Drive project, click here.
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