Chicago’s expressway upgrade underway

Work is now underway on Chicago’s Kennedy Expressway upgrade project.
Maintenance / April 5, 2023 45 seconds Read
By MJ Woof
Drivers in Chicago will benefit from improvements to the Kennedy Expressway when the work is complete in 2025 – image courtesy of © Jaysi |

Construction work is now underway in Chicago, Illinois on the rebuilding of the ageing I-90/I-94 Kennedy Expressway. A 12km section of the route will be rebuilt, with the work scheduled to last until the third quarter of 2025.

Costing around US$150 million, a key portion of the project involves the removal and replacement of the existing concrete surface. Overhead sign-structure replacements will be made while there will be LED lighting upgrades and new signage installed as well as structural painting. The 36 bridges between Ohio Street and the I-90/I-94 split will also benefit from improvements. There will be upgrades to the reversible lane access control (REVLAC) system, which supports traffic flow changes.

Replacing the ageing road surface will make the route much smoother for drivers. The expressway is now 63-years old and this is the first major improvement work carried out on the route since the early 1990s.

As the expressway carries an average of 270,000 vehicles/day, the works will generate extra congestion and frustration for drivers, although the construction activity is being carried out in three phases so as to minimise disruption as much as possible.

Once the work is complete, it will deliver major benefits for drivers using the route. Until the reconstruction is complete however, the congestion issues are likely to become worse, while there are few alternatives for drivers. The project is being managed by the Illinois Department of Transport (IDOT).