Circle Interchange

Circle interchange

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Circle_interghange_LogoRelieving Chicago of its Bottleneck Status

Each day, more than 400,000 vehicles pass through the Circle Interchange, which connects the Kennedy Expressway to the North, the Dan Ryan Expressway to the South, the Eisenhower Expressway to the west, and Congress Parkway to the east, all in the heart of Downtown Chicago. Simply put, if you’ve been on a highway coming in or out of Chicago, you’ve been impacted by the Interchange. This concentric circle of interlocking ramps has been called by the American Transportation Research Institute the “No. 1 Bottleneck in the nation’s freight transportation system,” which is why it is a critical area to study.

On March 14, 2012, Illinois Governor Quinn announced that the Circle Interchange will pursue $420 million in federal funding to improve current conditions and relieve the excruciating traffic congestion in Chicago. Images, Inc. leads the public involvement efforts, beginning with the formation of a Project Working Group, public meeting, design charrette and public hearings.  We work with all stakeholders to encourage their input on several different alternatives to ease traffic flow and increase safety — another major public concern.

The Circle Interchange reconstruction includes features that collectively improve the safety and mobility; improve the bridges, roadway and drainage system; and minimizes environmental impacts while enhancing the community connectivity on the local street network surrounding the interchange.

The Circle Interchange Project is a two-year planning and design project that identified the scope of improvements and the potential cost and construction schedule.  Currently, the planning (Phase I) and design (Phase II) are funded in IDOT’s 2013-2018 Multi-year Highway Improvement Program.  The construction phase (Phase III) remains unfunded at this time.  Phase III will be implemented in three stages.  Stage 1 will be the Cross Road Bridges, Stage 2 will be the I-290/Congress Parkway and Stage 3 will be the I-90/94 segment.

The benefits of reconstruction are clear: reduced traffic delays by up to 50%, saving drivers over 5 million hours annually and 1.6 million gallons of fuel.

Circle Interchange photos

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