Wacker Drive Chicago Construction 2011: A Guide to Getting Around.

Chaos in Chicago.
Chicago January 3, 2011.  The City of Chicago kicks off Phase 2 of it's $300 million (give or take a million) project to reinvent Upper and Lower Wacker Drive.

Phase 2 will rebuild the upper and lower levels of Wacker Drive from Randolph to Monroe.

Dates of Construction.
Phase 2 will be divided into 2 stages.  Stage 1 from Randolph to Washington is scheduled from January 2011 to Mid-Summer 2011.  Stage 2, scheduled from Mid-Summer to Late Fall 2011 will rebuild upper and lower Wacker from Washington to Monroe.

Traffic Impact.
Phase 2, Stage 1 will close Upper and Lower Wacker Dr.from Lake St. to Madison to all vehicle traffic.


Map of construction area.

The intersections of Randolph and Washington will be closed to all vehicles.
AlternateFranklin St., one block east of Wacker Dr. will be
converted to a two-way street which will carry all northbound and
southbound traffic detoured from Wacker Dr. Drivers can go east on Lake
St. one block to Franklin or east one block on Madison St. to Franklin. 
For updates to detours check www.wackerdrive.org.

Walkers and Bikers.
The intersection of Wacker Dr. at Washington will be closed to all pedestrian and bike traffic.
Alternate:   Walkers and bikers will be able to cross Wacker Drive at Randolph St. (one block North of Washington St.) or at Madison St. (one block South of Washington St.).

The following buses will be affected during various periods of the Wacker Dr. Reconstruction.  For the most current information call 1 888 YOUR CTA (968 7282) or visit the CTA website. 
#11 Lincoln/Sedgwick
#19 United Center Express
#20 Madison
#56 Milwaukee
#60 Blue Island/26th
#120 Ogilvie/Wacker Express**
#121 Union/Wacker Express**
#122 Illinois Center/Ogilvie Express
#123 Illinois Center/Wacker Express
#124 Navy Pier
#125 Water Tower Express
#129 West Loop/South Loop
#157 Streeterville/Taylor

Building Access.
All buildings will remain accessible by foot.  Signs will be posted to show alternate entrances.

Looking Ahead.
Phase 3:  Upper and Lower Wacker Dr. from Monroe St. to Van Buren St. reconstruction is scheduled to run from January 2012 to December 2012.  At this point the project will be completed.

The Finished Project.
When completed, the Wacker Dr. reconstruction project promises "a safer, more efficient roadway for motorists and pedestrians." A new interchange at Congress Parkway that will eliminate the existing double-merge, removal and reconfiguration of bulky entrance ramps, safer exits, wider roadways, better lighting, a new dedicated left-turn land for northbound traffic at Wacker at Randolph and enhanced landscaping including a three-acre park. 

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  • Someone please tell me what is going on on lower Wacker because they've had it blocked off for months now and I don't see any evidence of work taking place down there.

  • Thanks for the detailed explanation. When and what's going to be shut down has been a frequent topic of conversations.

    I've been using Lower Wacker since the 70's as the best way to get around the loop surface streets. I guess the downside to all this news will be that the secret will get out!

  • I cannot argue enough about how badly this needed to be done over 5 years ago! Potholes so big you can see down to lower Wacker! This city and the construction issue suck! All I have to say is who ever takes over for Daley had better get their act together when they take over this project!

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