Chicago motorists face serious backups as construction on Obama Center begins

Chicago motorists should brace for traffic delays on the South Side while streets around the proposed Obama Center go through another construction phase.

Southsiders say traffic has been congested because of ongoing road construction. It’s about to get even more challenging with additional closures and the narrowing of streets in Jackson Park.

For three weeks, Hayes Drive will be closed between Stony Island Avenue and Cornell Drive, and from Cornell to DuSable Lake Shore Drive until next summer.


Lanes will also be limited on DuSable Lake Shore Drive and on Stony Island Avenue.

For joggers and bikers, the pedestrian underpasses at Hayes Drive and the 59th Street Harbor will be closed. 57th Street will remain open.

Park facilities will be accessible including the Jackson Park Golf Course.

The Obama Center’s impact so far has mixed reviews.

Lisa Postell sells real estate and lives on the South Side. She says the traffic has been bad and she expects it will get worse.

"The traffic is horrible. I've gone to meetings taking away streets, less streets. And the traffic is already bad," Postell said.

Joe Estrada golfs at Jackson Park and says he is willing to deal with construction because he believes the improvements are worth it.

"I'll battle the traffic and congestion and people not knowing where they're going. Unaware. It'll all ultimately be worthwhile," Estrada said.

The orange-colored construction barrels are prevalent in Jackson Park and will be through additional phases of road construction.