South Michigan Avenue Roadwork to Change in March

Terry Levin, (312) 744-9277

One of the main goals of the Grant Park South underground parking garage reconstruction project is to have all the Michigan Avenue roadwork completed by the beginning of summer.

In fact, Mayor Richard M. Daley accelerated the construction schedule by five months to meet that deadline; originally, the roadwork was to continue until Thanksgiving.

Starting last July, the roadwork has reduced Michigan Avenue traffic to two lanes in each direction between Adams and Van Buren; Jackson also is closed on both sides of Michigan Avenue.

As part of the garage reconstruction project, planters filled with flowers will be installed in the middle of Michigan Avenue between Adams and Van Buren. These new concrete planters will match the ones already in place on Michigan Avenue between Randolph and Monroe.

However, that would leave only two blocks between Randolph Street and Congress Parkway-from Monroe to Adams and from Van Buren to Congress-without median planters when the roadwork is completed in late June.

The original plan was for those remaining planters to be constructed sometime after the current garage-related roadwork is finished-which would mean yet another round of Michigan Avenue lane reductions.

So city officials now have decided to install those final two planters while the current roadwork is underway, according to Public Building Commission executive director Eileen Carey.

“Everyone has been wonderfully patient with the 11 months of street construction needed to rebuild the underground garage, but everybody also is very eager to see the work completed and Michigan Avenue completely reopened,” Carey explained.

“No one wants to see additional lane closures for a separate project, so the best solution is to get both done at the same time and have everything finished by June 24,” she added.

For vehicle traffic, the only significant impact of this modified schedule is that the garage-related lane reductions between Adams and Van Buren will be extended one more block in each direction, starting the first week of March.
Thus, Michigan Avenue traffic will be two lanes in each direction from Monroe to Congress-rather than Adams to Van Buren-until all the roadwork is completed in June.

To minimize the effect of this new work:

  • the extended lane reductions only will be in effect on days when work on the median planters actually is underway and only during work hours.
  • 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.