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Full reopening of Kennedy Expressway means smoother ride for Chicago drivers

Full reopening of Kennedy Expressway means smoother ride for Chicago drivers
Full reopening of Kennedy Expressway means smoother ride for Chicago drivers 02:26

CHICAGO (CBS) – The construction nightmare on Interstate 90/94 is somewhat over, for now.

On Sunday morning, the inbound lanes of the Kennedy and Edens Expressways, including lanes and ramps, will fully reopen.

CBS 2's Darius Johnson had the latest.

The only thing that could prevent the expressway from fully reopening on Sunday is the ever-changing weather. Still, many drivers will be hitting the road. So expect to see more headlights beaming first thing Sunday morning.

Driving in Chicago can be a bit of a breeze or one of the most daunting tasks of the day.

That's especially the case if commuters have driven on the Kennedy or Edens since the major three-year construction project began in March.

"The whole entire thing is broken down across three construction seasons," said Maria Casteneda, spokesperson for the Illinois Department of Transportation.

Kennedy Expressway inbound lanes fully reopens - what drivers can expect 01:21

The entire project just about broke down the drivers who were stuck in it, but there's always a light at the end of the tunnel, or at the end of construction in this case, as Casteneda announced.

"By 8 a.m. tomorrow morning, then everything will be open from north of the Kennedy Junction, there with the Edens, all the way down through the entire expressway," Casteneda said.

And that includes the express lanes. So, while many have pumped their brakes and avoided the travel nightmare, Casteneda said the completion of this phase of construction will be a major upgrade for the daily commute.

"Absolutely," she said. "A smoother ride in two ways, and you're going to have those additional lines during those main peak hours. Obviously the two going in the morning as well as the two going out in the evening, but you are also going to have a smoother ride on the roadway itself."

But with the smoother commute, Casteneda was still urging caution among drivers.

"So whenever you see a work zone, give them room to work," she said. "Slow down. At the end of the day, we all want to get home safely."

Again, with this being a three-year project, drivers can expect some overnight and occasional weekend closures as crews continue to work to improve both the Edens and the Kennedy.

The entire project is set to be completed in December of 2025, so drivers shouldn't hit the gas to hard just yet.

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