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Wacker Drive reconstruction enters final phase

CTA riders wait for their bus routes down Jackson. All those routes will be rerouted beginning Saturday. | TinSfondeles~Sun-Times

CTA riders wait for their bus routes down Jackson. All of those routes will be rerouted beginning Saturday. | Tina Sfondeles~Sun-Times

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WHAT’S OPEN

Here’s how to get around when the final phase of the Wacker Drive reconstruction project starts Monday:

Monroe

◆ Reopened to all pedestrian, bicycle and eastbound vehicular traffic

◆ North sidewalk accessible for east-west pedestrian traffic

Adams

◆ Remains closed to all vehicular traffic

◆ North sidewalk accessible to east-west pedestrian traffic

Jackson

◆ Now closed to all vehicular traffic

◆ Bridge crossing Wacker between Jackson and Adams to accommodate high volume of pedestrians using Union Station; moveable bridge in place for access to 300 S. Wacker, 250 S. Wacker and 200 S. Wacker

Van Buren

◆ Becomes two-way street beginning Friday

◆ Accessible to two-way traffic from Friday until mid-July for motorists and cyclists

Franklin

◆ Remains open to two-way traffic from Lake Street to Van Buren

◆ Accessible to northbound and southbound traffic for motorists and cyclists

◆ Accessible to all north-south pedestrian traffic

Canal

◆ Accessible to northbound traffic for motorists, cyclists

◆ Accessible to north and south pedestrian traffic

Source: Chicago Department of Transportation

Tina Sfondeles

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Updated: July 19, 2012 6:10AM



Theresa Caliva thinks construction crews are out to get her.

Her North Side CTA L station — Granville — is closed for much needed renovations. And beginning Monday, she’ll see the street she peers down from a Loop high-rise closed to traffic.

It’s the end of the road, literally, for the Wacker Drive reconstruction.

The third and last phase of the $300 million project to rebuild Upper and Lower Wacker between Randolph Street and Congress Parkway begins Monday — with the Jackson intersection at Wacker to close.

Caliva’s commute from her Rogers Park home begins at 6 a.m. It used to begin at 7 a.m. Now she says she’ll have to plan for some more time — and another bus route to get to work.

“I’m just out of luck,” Caliva said. “But it’s OK. I’m used to it.”

It’s good news for Loop drivers a couple blocks away as traffic opens on Monroe for the first time since work began earlier this year.

On Friday, construction workers near Monroe were putting on finishing touches — cleaning off medians and making sure turn signs were painted properly.

The street was completely opened to cars and pedestrians by Friday evening.

Two blocks away, Stacy Wagner waited at a bus shelter on the corner of Jackson and Wacker for a No. 151 Sheridan CTA bus to take her home after finishing work at the Willis Tower.

Her bus won’t stop outside those doors beginning Monday and she’ll have to find another bus route: “I’m going to have to do some planning to get home,” Wagner said. “I didn’t even know it was happening.”

Wagner’s bus route is one of 18 affected by the new phase of construction. Routes that were closed by the Monroe reconstruction will be re-opened, while those using Adams and Jackson will be altered. The CTA is providing all info at transitchicago.com/wacker.

Meanwhile, the Adams intersection with Wacker remains closed to traffic. And from Friday through mid-July, Van Buren between Wells and Franklin will become a two-way street to let drivers heading north on Franklin get to westbound I-290.

Arnie Pagniucci doesn’t mind the construction noise as he takes his lunch break on a lawn outside his work in a high-rise near Jackson and Wacker.

He works for an insurance company, and his time in the fresh air is time well spent.

With a book in tow, and his lunch in hand, Pagniucci enjoyed the sun on Friday afternoon.

But he is worried about one thing: his route home to Oak Park via the Eisenhower.

“I think it’ll be miserable for people getting onto the Eisenhower now with them making Van Buren two-way,” Pagniucci. “I think it’s going to be a huge traffic jam, and a huge problem.”

The entire Wacker project is projected to be completed by December.



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