Chicago plans transportation improvements co-ordinated with Obama Presidential Center construction

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The Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT) has designed a series of transportation improvements that will be co-ordinated with construction of the Obama Presidential Center (OPC) and are intended to make Jackson Park and the OPC into a world class destination on par with the City’s Museum Campus on the lakefront.

The plan will increase green space, improve connectivity and safety for pedestrians and bike riders, and accommodate future traffic demand.

The plan, approved by the City Council in 2018, will create more than five acres of new green space by converting the following roadway segments to parkland:

  • Cornell Drive between North Midway Plaisance and Hayes Drive
  • South Midway Plaisance between Stony Island Ave. and Cornell Drive
  • Marquette Drive between Stony Island Ave. and Richards Drive
  • Northbound Cornell Drive from 68th St. to where Cornell Drive becomes two-way

The following roadway improvements are designed to handle existing and future traffic demand and improve connectivity in and around Jackson Park and the surrounding neighborhoods:

  • Adding a southbound, third lane on Lake Shore Drive from 57th St. to Hayes Drive.
  • Improving capacity and safety on Hayes Drive between Lake Shore Drive and Cornell Drive.
  • Adding a travel lane in each direction on Stony Island from 59th Street to 65th Streets, while maintaining on street parking and loading lanes.

Stony Island will benefit from a streetscape beautification that will include planted medians, left turn lanes at key intersections, and pedestrian refuge islands to enhance safety.

Reconfiguration of the intersection of Stony Island, Midway Plaisance and 59th and 60th streets to improve capacity and pedestrian and traffic safety.

New pedestrian underpasses in Jackson Park under Hayes Drive west of Lake Shore Drive and two under the new Hayes Drive and Cornell Drive intersection. Brand new pathways within Jackson Park to provide key connections for people biking or walking through the park, connecting these new and existing underpasses together.

Modernization or installation of seven traffic signals, providing the opportunity to interconnect and synchronize traffic as well as being compatible with potential Bus TSP technologies.

Installation of new energy efficient street lights along the new sections of roadway.

These roadway improvements, as well as others contemplated in the federal review, are funded through $174 million in funds programmed by the State of Illinois.

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