Benefits

Traffic Benefits - Reduce bottleneck on I-90/94 by going from 3 to 4 lanes in the northbound and southbound directions through the Jane Byrne Interchange. Double the number of lanes on the two most congested ramps by providing two lanes:

  • Northbound I-90/94 to Westbound I-290
  • Eastbound I-290 to Northbound I-90/94

Safety Benefits – The preferred alternative includes changes in access to enhance safety. These include:

  • Southbound traffic heading to Taylor Street will exit north of the interchange. This will enhance safety by eliminating weaving at the Taylor Street interchange.
  • Northbound traffic heading to one of the four downtown street ramps will exit I-90/94 south of the interchange and avoid mixing with traffic entering from I-290 and Ida B. Wells Drive. It will be physically separated from mainline I-90/94 by a barrier wall. This will enhance safety by eliminating weaving along I-90/94.
  • Access to the Morgan Street exit will only be available for traffic traveling from northbound I-90/94 to westbound I-290. The elimination of the weaving and merging in this area will enhance traffic flow and safety.
  • These modifications along with others are predicted to reduce the number of crashes by up to 25%.

Community Benefits

  • Reduced emissions and improved air quality.
  • Pedestrian and bicycle-friendly local street system and cross-street bridges by providing:
    •           Bicycle lanes in accordance with the City’s master bikeway plan
    •           Wider sidewalks (typically 10 feet) to improve the pedestrian experience

Aesthetics

  • Using decorative/patterned concrete on the parapet walls, bridge piers, and retaining walls.
  • Planting vines on retaining walls and noise abatement walls (where feasible) to soften the concrete look and to discourage graffiti.
  • Including more than $1 million in tree planting within adjacent areas to replace each tree removed for construction activities.
  • Creating green spaces behind retaining walls for community spaces and adjacent residential building use.