CDOT and 5th Ward Alderman Hairston Break Ground for 71st Street Streetscape Improvement Project

July 22, 2021

Mike Claffey    312.744.0707 |

Susan Hofer    312.742.2006 |

CHICAGO – Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT) Commissioner Gia Biagi and 5th Ward Alderman Leslie Hairston joined community stakeholders today for a  groundbreaking for the 71st Street Streetscape Project in South Shore.  The community improvement project for 71st Street in South Shore from Jeffery Boulevard to South Shore Drive includes full roadway resurfacing, ADA improvements and installation of a buffered bike lane that will connect to the Lake Front Trail. At the same time, CDOT recently started a resurfacing project on 71st Street extending for 1.5 miles from Jeffery Boulevard to Cottage Grove Avenue. 

“We are pleased to be here in the 5th Ward today and getting started on the 71st Street Streetscape Project that is part of Mayor Lightfoot’s Chicago Works infrastructure and jobs plan,” Commissioner Biagi said. “South Shore is an up-and-coming community with a bright future. This project will make the corridor safer for everyone, whether they are walking or biking or using transit.” 

“I am delighted to be here with our community stakeholders to break ground on the 71st Street Streetscape Project that will beautify the corridor, make it more inviting for pedestrians and help attract people to all the great businesses here in South Shore,” Alderman Hairston said. “With the future Obama Presidential Center coming soon, we are going to be ready to welcome people from all over the world to our community.” 

The $4 million dollar streetscape project is part of Mayor Lightfoot’s Chicago Works capital investment plan. It builds on an earlier phase of the project that included new sidewalks, new street lights, tree plantings, street furniture and community identifiers. The highlights of the current project, which is due for completion in winter of 2022, include: 


  • Full width resurfacing and new bus pads 
  • ADA accessibility and pedestrian safety improvements adjacent to the Metra tracks 
  • Upgraded crosswalks 
  • Buffered bike lanes  
  • Architectural fencing along the Metra tracks 

    CDOT also recently started a resurfacing project on 71st Street that provide smooth pavement from Jeffery Boulevard to Cottage Grove Avenue.  

     Later this year, work will be starting on the Obama Presidential Center (OPC) in Jackson Park. And CDOT will be commencing work on a series of transportation improvements coordinated with construction of the 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. 

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