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Construction on inbound lanes of Kennedy Expressway to be finished early next week

Phase 1 of Kennedy Expressway construction almost complete
Phase 1 of Kennedy Expressway construction almost complete 01:08

CHICAGO (CBS) -- Just in time for the holidays, everyone who drives on the Kennedy Expressway is getting a gift.

As CBS 2's Kris Habermehl reported, the Illinois Department of Transportation told CBS 2 the construction on the inbound side of the Kennedy from the Edens Expressway split to Ohio Street will essentially be done on Dec. 11 – Monday of next week.

IDOT said in a news release that a sequenced reopening to remove the longstanding work zone will begin on Thursday.

Starting at 8 p.m. Thursday, the inbound Kennedy will be down to one lane between Kimball and Milwaukee avenues – while there will be intermittent ramp closures between Belmont/Kedzie and Division Street. Starting at midnight Thursday night, the reversible lanes on the Kennedy will shut down altogether.

Starting at 8 p.m. Friday, the inbound Kennedy will be reduced to a single lane between Keeler and Kimball avenues, with intermittent ramp closures along the same stretch. The reversible express lanes will stay open.

Starting at 8 p.m. Monday, the inbound Kennedy will be down to one lane from north of the Edens junction to Keeler Avenue. The reversible express lane entrance at Montrose Avenue will be closed, but drivers will be able to get onto the express lanes at Diversey Avenue.

There will also be intermittent ramp closures on the inbound Kennedy from Montrose Avenue to Keeler Avenue, and on the inbound Edens at Wilson Avenue (entrance and exit) and Elston Avenue (entrance), IDOT said.

By 5 a.m. Tuesday, the inbound Kennedy and Edens – and all lanes and ramps – will be fully open, IDOT said. The reversible express lanes will also be back to normal operations.

IDOT told CBS 2 there could be brief and minor fixes on the inbound Kennedy in the coming weeks – mostly overnights and weekends – for any small items that need to be touched up.

But an IDOT representative told us on the phone, "Merry Christmas!"

However, the overall $150 million construction project on the Kennedy is not over. The work on the inbound lanes was only Phase 1 of the project.

For a few months, the major construction work will stop, and drivers will have use of all the lanes. But in the spring of next year, the reversible express lanes will be totally off limits for construction work until late in 2024.

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