Summer construction season brings more traffic delays to Chicago

As summer approaches, construction projects are in full swing across Chicago, leading to increased traffic delays for commuters.

There were a lot of brake lights, a lot of horn-honking, and a lot of agitated drivers on North DuSable Lake Shore Drive Monday night, with a major resurfacing project that crippled the evening rush — and there's more to come on Tuesday.

"It took me about 30 minutes to use the Foster exit," said one agitated driver. "They picked the wrong time to do this work."

The Chicago Department of Transportation made the decision to shut down all but one lane of southbound Lake Shore Drive at 4:30 p.m. on Monday.

"It's very bad," said another driver on the traffic congestion. "It took us quite a while to get out of [the Devon Corridor]. We had some food in the trunk; it's getting cold, we'll have to heat it when we get back!"

The affected stretch is from Irving Park Road up to Lawrence Avenue — and it also came with shut downs of almost all the entrance and exit ramps at Lawrence, Wilson, Montrose and Irving.

At 7 p.m. on Monday, CDOT shut down that stretch down completely, detouring traffic to Marine Drive, which caused a major snarl east of Uptown.

"They should do it in the middle of the night, after 11 o'clock. Now they are working during rush hour traffic, come on! It's just a joke," said another frustrated driver.

The "fun" continues all day Tuesday, when northbound Lake Shore Drive will be reduced to two lanes between LaSalle and Lawrence from 3 a.m. until 3 p.m. One lane will remain closed until Thursday.

Here are two important construction updates you need to be aware of:

Kennedy Expressway:

The next stage of construction on the Kennedy Expressway has begun, and commuters on the inbound side should brace for significant traffic delays.

Bridge work at Diversey Avenue requires the closure of the reversible express lanes exit at Diversey Avenue for a duration of eight weeks. During this period, the express lanes will remain open in the inbound direction, but drivers will not be able to exit until Ohio Street.

The completion date for the inbound work on the Kennedy Expressway is set for later this fall.

Resurfacing Project on Southbound Lake Shore Drive:

Southbound DuSable Lake Shore Drive will undergo resurfacing between Lawrence Avenue and Irving Park Road.

Within thirty minutes on Monday night, the road will be reduced to one lane, and the southbound entrance ramp at Lawrence Avenue, as well as the entrance and exit ramps at Wilson, Montrose, and Irving Park Road, will be closed.

Starting at 7 p.m., all lanes of southbound DuSable Lake Shore Drive will be closed in the designated area, and traffic will be diverted to Marine Drive. All lanes are expected to reopen on Tuesday morning at 6 a.m.

During the morning and afternoon rush periods, all lanes will be accessible to traffic. The resurfacing work is projected to be completed by mid-June.

With these ongoing construction projects, motorists should anticipate additional travel time and plan alternate routes if possible.