Loop Link construction to expand downtown lane closures next week

Chicago construction photo

(CHICAGO) Transit officials are expanding closures along Washington Boulevard downtown as construction continues on the Loop Link bus rapid transit project.

Starting Tuesday, existing closures on eastbound Washington from Wacker to Clark will be extended two more blocks to State, according to a statement from the Chicago Department of Transportation. All traffic on Washington from Wacker to State will be limited to two lanes on the north side of the street.

Access to alleys and parking lots will be maintained in the construction zone, but no right turns will be allowed at LaSalle, CDOT said.

Lane closures currently in effect on Madison from Michigan to Wacker will remain in effect, with additional overnight full closures planned on Madison for five nights starting Tuesday, according to CDOT. Madison will be closed from State to Wells from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. each night.

Downtown motorists are advised to expect delays during construction, CDOT said. Although no detours are planned, drivers are encouraged to find alternate routes through the Loop.

The Loop link project is intended to speed up travel through the Loop by separating bus, bike and regular traffic, CDOT said. Red-colored bus-only lanes will be installed along Madison, Washington, Canal and Clinton on a circuit between Union Station and Millennium Park.

Protected bike lanes will also be installed eastbound on Washington, westbound on Randolph and in both directions on Clinton, CDOT said. Loop Link construction is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2015.