Kennedy Expressway construction: What drivers can expect for the next 3 years

Get ready to see orange, as a years-long construction project will soon begin on the Kennedy Expressway.

Two-hundred and seventy-five thousand vehicles pass through the Kennedy Expressway every single day, and city engineers say the roadways are long overdue for repair.

On Monday, major construction will begin from the I-94 junction to Ohio Street.

The project totaling $150 million will repair 36 bridge decks, add new signage, patch pavement, upgrade lighting, and so much more.

The work — which is intended to increase safety, reduce maintenance costs, and improve traffic flow — is slated to last three years.


As a result, the Illinois Department of Transportation says major travel delays are expected, including lane shifts and overnight lane closures. Alternative routes are encouraged.

"These decks are over 50 years old already, and our last major rehabilitation was back in the early 90s. So we're about 30 years on from when they were last worked on. So they've exceeded that 20-year lifespan that we would think for a major rehabilitation. So it's just time to do it because they're in state of disrepair. There's a fair number of potholes out there, not only on the bridge deck but in the pavement as well. So we're gonna hit those when we're out there. It's just 30 years that they've taken a beating with Chicago winters and the 275,000 vehicles a day that travel over the road, so it's time," said John Schumacher, IDOT engineer.

Stage one of this project begins with inbound lanes. Express lanes will remain open to minimize traffic and outbound traffic is expected to be normal.