By Jen DeSalvo, WLS-AM 890 Traffic & Transit
(CHICAGO) Improvements coming to the Western Avenue corridor, including the Western viaduct over Belmont on March 1st (Tuesday).
According to the Chicago Department of Transportation, plans call for the removal of the existing viaduct, built in the 1960s, and creating an at-grade intersection. The bridge was built for cars who were not traveling to the Riverview Amusement Park to bypass the added congestion from the attraction.
Beginning the morning of March 1st and continuing through July, 2016, Western Avenue will be reduced to one lane in each direction from George Street north to Cornelia. The only lane that will remain open are the far right lanes both northbound and southbound that run on the ground level. The bridge will be completely closed to traffic.
Starting Friday, March 4th at 8 p.m., complete closures of the intersection, including Belmont and Clybourn, will take effect for demolition of the bridge. The far right lanes on Western are expected to fully re-open on Tuesday, March 8th at 5 a.m.
Some of the benefits of the project include the reduction of travel times on Western Avenue during peak hours with the addition of a third lane, which will double as an extra 80 parking spaces during off-peak hours.
No homes or active businesses will be displaced by the project.