CHICAGO - Anyone who's been following the build-up to the Chicago NASCAR Street Race knows Grant Park is going to be clogged in late June into early July.
But what you may not realize is that two weeks from Wednesday, the traffic impact will be felt as far north as Lincoln Park and as far South as Hyde Park.
"We're not going to drop the ball. We can't. We're Chicago," said Chris Pettineo, Manager of Emergency Management Services at OEMC.
For OEMC, having a successful event means warning drivers well ahead of time of all the street closures, lane closures and detours well before race weekend, July 1st and 2nd.
"While it's the first time the city's having this event, the philosophy is the same about planning ahead," said Tom Carney, CDOT's First Deputy Commissioner.
As large grandstands and racecourse walls go up in and around Grant Park, downtown drivers are already feeling the pinch. Expect that to continue through the first weekend in July. But outside the immediate race footprint, starting June 28th all the way up at North Avenue, drivers on southbound Dusable Lake Shore Drive will see orange barrels, tapering traffic down to one lane.
Three days later, expect to see the same on Northbound Lake Shore Drive down at 47th street.
"A merging taper really helps manage traffic flow," said Pettineo. "It would be irresponsible to let four lanes come all the way up to a hard closure. So really it's also part of conditioning people."
That merging taper lets drivers know closures are coming, and it's probably time to exit and re-route.
"There will be congestion. It's a holiday weekend. Regardless of the race, there will be congestion," said Pettineo.
To find all the maps, reroutes and detours in one spot, go to NASCARCHICAGO.COm/localinfo.