Major rehab of Kennedy Expressway starts March 20
Travel delays are anticipated – alternative routes are strongly encouraged, IDOT says
The state Department of Transportation announced today that a rehabilitation of the Kennedy Expressway (Interstate 90/94), from the Edens Expressway (Interstate 94) junction to Ohio Street, is scheduled to begin, weather permitting, Monday, March 20. Major travel delays are anticipated, alternative routes are strongly encouraged.
The estimated $150 million project consists of rehabilitating 36 bridge structures and the Reversible Lane Access Control (REVLAC) system, replacing overhead sign-structures, installing new signage and modernized LED lights, pavement patching and structural painting. Additionally, Hubbard’s Cave, from Grand Avenue to Wayman Street, will be painted and new LED lighting installed.
The work will take place over three consecutive construction seasons, broken down into the following three stages:
Stage I – Inbound Kennedy
To help minimize the impact to traffic the reversible express lanes will remain open in the inbound direction, while two mainline inbound lanes will be closed at a time. Motorists should expect lane shifts and overnight lane closure, along with various ramp closures. Later this summer, painting and the installation of new LED lighting will begin on inbound Hubbard’s Cave, between Ohio and Lake streets. Construction is anticipated to be completed later this fall, with all lanes and ramps reopening and the express lanes resuming normal operations.
Stage II – Reversible Express Lanes
The reversible express lanes will be closed to accommodate rehabilitation of the REVLAC system and bridge structures, along with pavement patching. In addition, mainline lane closures will be needed to accommodate painting and the installation of new LED lighting in both directions of Hubbard’s Cave, between Ohio and Lake streets. Construction is anticipated to begin in spring 2024 and be completed in fall 2024.
Stage III – Outbound Kennedy
The reversible express lanes will remain open in the outbound direction, while two mainline outbound lanes will be closed at a time. Lane shifts and overnight lane closure, along with various ramp closures will be needed to complete the work. Additionally, new LED lighting installation and painting will be completed on outbound Hubbard’s Cave, between Ohio and Lake streets. Construction is anticipated to begin in spring 2025 and be completed in late fall 2025.
Motorists should expect significant delays and allow extra time for trips through this area. Drivers are urged to pay close attention to flaggers and signs in the work zones, obey the posted speed limits and be on the alert for workers and equipment. Public transportation and traveling during non-peak hours are recommended if possible.
The Kennedy Expressway officially opened in November 1960, with the last major rehabilitation completed in 1994. The project will improve safety, traffic flow and reliability for the more than 275,000 motorists who use the expressway each day.
Statewide, over the next six years, IDOT is planning to improve more than 2,500 miles of roads and nearly 10 million square feet of bridges as part of Rebuild Illinois, which is investing $33.2 billion into all modes of transportation. Accomplishments through Year Three of Rebuild Illinois included approximately $8.6 billion of improvements statewide on 4,422 miles of highway, 412 bridges and 621 safety improvements.