Mayor Rahm Emanuel Visits Start of Construction on Route 41 Through USX Site

April 3, 2012

Roadway Project Part of “Building a New Chicago” Infrastructure Investment Program

Mayor's Press Office 312.744.3334

CHICAGO - Mayor Rahm Emanuel today visited construction crews as they began the relocation of U.S. Route 41 through the former USX steel mill development site on the Southeast Side.   The important roadway project is part of “Building a New Chicago,” the $7 billion, three-year infrastructure program he announced last week.

Building a New Chicago is one of the largest investments in infrastructure in the City’s history. The program will touch nearly every aspect of the city’s infrastructure network and create more than 30,000 jobs over the next three years.

“Whether it is renewing our parks or repairing our pipes, repaving our roads or rebuilding our rails, retrofitting our buildings or revitalizing our bridges, we must restore Chicago’s core,” Mayor Emanuel said.  “This roadway project is an essential part of the development plan that will create a new mixed-use neighborhood on the former steel mill site on the banks of Lake Michigan.”  

The estimated cost of the roadway project is approximately $19 million, with a total project cost of $21 million. The project will consist of building a new road to relocate Route 41 by connecting it at the north end of the USX site at 79th Street and South Shore Drive to the south end at 87th Street and Avenue O. The project will create approximately 75 construction jobs and is expected to have a dramatic impact on the ongoing economic development efforts in the area.

“Extending Lake Shore Drive further south and transforming the former U.S. Steel site will provide an economic boost to the southeast side of Chicago,” Governor Pat Quinn said. “Together, the State of Illinois and the federal government will invest $19 million to complete a project that creates jobs and improves the quality of life from 79th to 92nd streets and beyond.”

The new two-mile section of new roadway will include (view map):

  • New street lighting Irrigated landscaped medians and upgraded landscaping at the entrance of Rainbow Park
  • Permeable parking lanes to provide innovative storm water management
  • New sidewalk, driveways, curbs and gutters, sewers, signage and pavement markings
  • CTA turnaround at the north end of the site Four new traffic signals and three signal modernizations
  • Nearly 600 new trees to be planted

The Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT) is managing the roadway project, which will be funded with more than $10M from both the Federal Highway Administration and the State of Illinois.  The new roadway is expected to be complete by December, with landscaping installed in the spring of 2013.

To be created in multiple phases, the 360-acre Chicago Lakeside project in the USX site will include more than 8,000 dwelling units, two million square feet of commercial space, and several new parks as it moves forward over the next few decades.

As the City repairs hundreds of miles of water pipe and sewage line in the next decade, it will repave 900 miles of road.  Adding that to the road construction and resurfacing CDOT performs, the City will repave a total of 2,000 miles of road in the next decade – close to half of all roads in Chicago.

Building a New Chicago is one of the most comprehensive infrastructure plans in Chicago’s history, involving an unprecedented level of coordination between City Hall, multiple city departments and sister agencies, private sector utilities, and the public.


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