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%.
- 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
- 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.