Extending the construction zone on South Michigan Avenue-which has narrowed traffic to two lanes in each direction between Adams and Van Buren since last July-has been delayed by the extremely cold weather gripping Chicago.
Work to extend the zone one block in each direction was to start Tuesday morning, but the bitter temperatures Sunday night and early Monday prevented crews from re-striping the street and making other pre-construction preparations, according to the Public Building Commission (PBC), which is managing the project.
Based on current weather forecasts, the work is expected to start later this week.
Extending the construction zone will allow the PBC to build median planters for the Chicago Department of Transportation between Monroe and Adams and between Van Buren and Congress while Michigan Avenue already is narrowed from Adams to Van Buren for the re-construction of the Grant Park South underground parking garage.
By doing the garage-related and planter-related work at the same time, all the roadwork on South Michigan Avenue can be completed by June 24, the start of summer. This week’s delay in the start of the median planter work is not expected to delay its scheduled completion.
When the median planter work does begin, the extended lane reductions only will be in effect on days when the construction actually is underway and only during work hours. Also, no added traffic restrictions are anticipated; vehicles heading north or south on Michigan Avenue will still be allowed to turn onto Adams or Van Buren the same as now.
Grant Park South Garage is a 40-year-old parking facility that extends under Michigan Avenue and Jackson Drive. It was in such dire need of repair that braces had become necessary to shore up portions of the roof under those streets.
While the roadwork is scheduled for completion in late June, underground work will continue through the summer and early fall, when the garage will reopen with its 1,300 parking spaces.
All of the local stores and other businesses remain open during construction.
For up-to-date construction information on this project, contact the PBC at (312) 744-3090 or click here, where updated charts detailing each phase of the project have been posted.