Chicago to shutdown busy street to prepare for NASCAR race

The NASCAR Chicago Street Race is still two months out, but the traffic headaches will arrive on Wednesday when a section of Columbus Drive — between Jackson and Balbo — will close for repaving between 1 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. on May 3rd.

When the city unveiled its long list of summer street closures in and around Grant Park back in early April, at the time it said they would start a month before the race — June 2nd — with some minor parking restrictions on Columbus Drive.

But barely into the month of May, a full two months out from the race, and Columbus is set to shut down for 17 hours Wednesday, for part of a resurfacing and repair project the city said "will support NASCAR, other downtown events, and routine street usage."


Several downtown aldermen have been against the NASCAR race from the get go, citing its impact on not just traffic, but also the race's impact on access to Grant Park and the museum campus.

"We were told initially that the impact would be minimal," Ald. Brian Hopkins (2nd) told FOX 32 in April. "Now, we find out that the impact is significant for downtown residents and, frankly, for commuters."

Race weekend is the first weekend in July.