Governor J.B. Pritzker and the Illinois Department of Transportation joined local officials and community leaders last Thursday to celebrate the completion of the Jane Byrne Interchange reconstruction, a multiyear effort to modernize a key gateway into downtown Chicago and a critical transportation hub for the region and entire Midwest. The final pieces of the project will conclude this week, weather permitting.
The $806.4 million project is one of the biggest projects in state history and the first major rehabilitation of the Jane Byrne since it was originally constructed more than 60 years ago. The improvements eliminate a nationally notorious bottleneck and are predicted to reduce vehicle delays by 50 percent, saving motorists an estimated annual five million hours sitting in traffic and $185 million in productivity. Vehicle emissions are anticipated to decrease by one-third and annual gas consumption by 1.6 million gallons per year. Safety will also be enhanced: studies predict a 25 percent decrease in crashes.