Chicago News

Metra construction hampers Dan Ryan traffic

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Metra construction is causing major headaches for overnight drivers on the Dan Ryan.

Metra construction of the new Englewood Flyover bridge is from now until November 7. Drivers can expect slowdowns, even intermittent closures.

Now to October 25, outbound traffic is impacted. Inbound traffic will be impacted from October 26 to November 7.

Metra is trying to separate tracks the Rock Island line uses from the tracks Amtrak and freight trains use to help ease congestion.

The changes are needed as Metra's contractor will be erecting steel girders onto the concrete piers for the Englewood Flyover. The flyover is a rail bridge over the Dan Ryan and over a set of Norfolk Southern freight tracks.

The periodic full closures will be in effect from midnight until 9 a.m. on the Saturday night into Sunday morning periods and 1 a.m. until 5 a.m. on all other nights.

Oct. 19 to Oct. 25
All outbound traffic will be reduced to one express lane, and that lane will be subject to periodic full closures. There will be access to the Chicago Skyway. Outbound ramps will be closed from 43rd St. through 63rd St.

Oct. 26 to Nov. 1
The outbound and inbound express lanes will be closed from 81st to 47th streets. The outbound local lanes will remain open but the inbound local lanes will be reduced to one lane, with that lane subject to full closures nightly. This work will also require intermittent stoppages for CTA Red Line trains as steel is lifted into place.

Nov. 2 to Nov. 5
Work will move to the inbound local lanes with all traffic shifted to the inbound express lanes overnight. Outbound lanes will not be impacted.

Nightly lane shifts are expected Nov. 6 and 7 to complete the work.

The bridge is part of the federally funded CREATE program, an initiative to ease rail congestion in the Chicago region through the construction of new rail-to-rail and rail-to-highway grade separations. When the project is completed, the Englewood Flyover will carry the Metra Rock Island tracks over the Englewood interlocker and tracks used by Amtrak and freight trains at 63rd and State.

Currently, 78 Metra Rock Island trains and approximately 60 freight and Amtrak trains pass through the Englewood interlocker each weekday. Separating these tracks will eliminate conflicts between Metra, Amtrak and freight trains decreasing delays and improving air quality by cutting residents' exposure to emissions from idling trains.

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