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City of Chicago to expand bus lanes along Chicago Avenue in River North, West Town

City to add new bus-only lanes along Chicago Avenue
City to add new bus-only lanes along Chicago Avenue 00:28

CHICAGO (CBS) -- The Chicago Department of Transportation announced Tuesday that it will expand bus-only lanes along Chicago Avenue between West Town and River North.

This week, CDOT will begin installing red bus-only lanes for the No. 66 Chicago bus along the east-west thoroughfare between Sangamon and Larrabee streets – a distance of three and a half city blocks that includes the intersection with Halsted Street and the bridge over the North Branch of the Chicago River.

Bus priority lanes are also being completed on Chicago Avenue between Campbell Avenue – one city block west of Western Avenue – and Grand Avenue, which crosses Chicago Avenue on an angle near Richmond Street four and a half blocks to the west.

The project will create a bus lane split along two stretches – one from Grand Avenue/Richmond Street east to Ashland Avenue and the other from Milwaukee Avenue/Ogden Avenue/May Street east to Michigan Avenue. Together, these stretches total 3.9 miles.

CDOT noted that nearly 40% of the No. 66 Chicago Avenue bus route will include a bus lane once the latest project is completed.

The bus lane will be in effect 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

The new bus-only lane between Sangamon and Larrabee streets will complement CDOT's planned project to replace the existing Chicago Avenue Bridge over the river's North Branch and the Chicago Avenue/Halsted Street viaduct.

The Chicago Tribune's Freedom Center printing plant occupies both sides of Chicago Avenue just east of Halsted Street. The Tribune made its last print run at the Freedom Center last week, as it is set to be demolished to make way for a Bally's casino, hotel, and entertainment complex. The Tribune is now printed at a plant in Schaumburg. 

The casino is scheduled to open in 2026. A temporary casino is now in operation at the Medinah Temple building in River North.

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