Wells-to-Kennedy Ramp Closes Jan. 4

The Illinois Department of Transportation is reminding the public that the ramp from outbound Ida B. Wells Drive to the outbound Kennedy Expressway (Interstate 90/94) will close at 1 a.m. on Saturday, Jan. 4 (weather permitting). The closure is necessary to demolish and rebuild the ramp in time to reopen by the end of 2020.

The posted detour will direct Ida B. Wells Drive traffic northbound on Dearborn Street, westbound on Van Buren Street, northbound on Jefferson Street and westbound to the Adams Street ramp to connect to the Kennedy.

Motorists should 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.

This closure is necessary to demolish and reconstruct the ramp, which also will accommodate a future collector-distributor ramp system on the Kennedy. The new design will improve safety and efficiency by relocating several left-hand entrance ramps and reducing conflict points through a heavily congested area.

The closure of this ramp marks the first major closure at the Jane Byrne Interchange for the 2020 construction season, which will include additional closures and construction stage changes. Upcoming work in 2020 includes the closure, demolition, and reconstruction of the inbound Eisenhower ramp to the outbound Kennedy as well as ongoing reconstruction of the outbound Ida B. Wells Drive ramp to the outbound Dan Ryan and the inbound Kennedy ramp to inbound Ida B. Wells Drive.

Additionally, the final two surface street overpasses in the project area, Adams Street and Jackson Boulevard over the Kennedy Expressway, will close this spring for bridge reconstruction, with a tentative reopening scheduled for 2022. Work will continue on widening the inbound Eisenhower ramp to the outbound Dan Ryan as well as the inbound Kennedy ramp to the outbound Eisenhower, however, there are no anticipated long-term closures of these two ramps.

The Jane Byrne Interchange project will improve safety and traffic flow for the more than 400,000 motorists who use it daily, while enhancing mobility for bicycles, pedestrians and transit.  The overall project will be complete in 2022, following reconstruction of the mainline Kennedy and Dan Ryan expressways and opening of new collector-distributor ramps through the interchange in 2021.