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Jackson Boulevard Bridge To Close Friday As Jane Byrne Interchange Project Drags On

CHICAGO (CBS) -- The Jackson Boulevard Bridge over the Kennedy Expressway will soon close for two years, in the latest shutdown for the long-stalled Jane Byrne Interchange project.

Starting at 5 a.m. Friday, Jackson Boulevard will be closed between Halsted Street and Des Plaines Avenue, so crews can begin removing the bridge, according to the Illinois Department of Transportation.

Jackson Boulevard traffic will be rerouted onto Van Buren Street, while vehicles that normally use the Jackson Boulevard ramps will be shifted to Madison and Monroe streets.

The new bridge should reopen by the end of 2022, when the overall project is expected to be complete. The new bridge will have two lanes, a dedicated eastbound bike lane, and wider sidewalks on both sides.

The inbound Eisenhower Expressway ramp to the outbound Kennedy Expressway will close later this spring, and reopen later this year. Traffic will be detoured to the outbound Dan Ryan Expressway to connect to the Kennedy via Taylor Street.

The Adams Street bridge over the Kennedy also will be closed this summer, the last of 11 bridges to be closed for the Jane Byrne Interchange project.

Meantime, the outbound Ida B. Wells ramp to the outbound Kennedy, which closed this past winter, should reopen by the end of 2020.

The massive Jane Byrne Interchange reconstruction project has seen multiple delays, and is now way over budget. Started in 2013, the project originally had a $475 million pricetag, and was scheduled to be done in 2018.

According to the Chicago Tribune, the estimated cost has ballooned to $796.5 million, according to the 2019 Financial Plan Annual Update presented to IDOT last month.

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