CDOT Announces Completion of the Randolph Street Transportation Improvements
Mike Claffey 312.744.0707 | Michael.email@example.com
Susan Hofer 312.742.2006 | Susan.Hofer@cityofchicago.org
The Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT) today announced the completion of a series of projects that will make it safer and easier for people walking, biking, and driving through Chicago’s Loop. The projects included resurfacing of Randolph and Dearborn Streets, and a new protected bike lane on Randolph St. from Michigan Ave. to Clinton Street.
“The opening of the new westbound Randolph bike lane provides Chicago’s Loop with one of the country’s best downtown protected bike lane networks,” CDOT Commissioner Rebekah Scheinfeld said. “CDOT has been working hard, in cooperation with other public agencies and private utilities, to make long-term improvements on Randolph that will greatly improve safety for all modes of transportation. And we would like to thank everyone who uses the downtown transportation system for bearing with us during these last few busy construction seasons.”
While much of the paving work was done by CDOT, utilities have also met their responsibilities to resurface streets cut for needed access to underground infrastructure. People’s Gas not only resurfaced part of Dearborn but repaved the bicycle lane as a part of that resurfacing.
CDOT coordinated that work, keeping at least one lane each on Randolph and Dearborn open to vehicle and bike traffic while permitting utility and construction work to continue along the street. Only when major construction and utility work was complete did CDOT begin the resurfacing of the Randolph corridor from Michigan Ave. to Clinton St and Dearborn St. between Washington St. and Wacker Dr. Even now that the major work is completed, there may be periodic lane closures on Randolph to accommodate utility work needed for new construction projects.
The design of Randolph St. shortens the crossing distances at several locations to enhance pedestrian safety. It also provides new protected intersections, with pedestrian refuge islands, at the northwest corner of Randolph and Dearborn and the northeast corner of Randolph and Canal to improve safety for both pedestrians and bicyclists.
The work in the Central Business District is a prime example of Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s commitment to providing 21st Century infrastructure to keep Chicago’s economy thriving. New developments, such as Block 37 and the Oriental Theater renovation, has spurred additional economic growth in the adjacent blocks on Dearborn and Randolph. Each new development required electric, gas, and communications equipment and connections.
The work completed along Randolph is one of many major infrastructure project completed by CDOT in 2016, which included:
- Completed five miles of new bike lanes and restriping and marking 21 additional miles to improve bicycling safety.
- Resurfaced 266 miles of Chicago’s arterial and residential streets and alleys.
- Built Chicago’s first shared street at Argyle St., allowing for mixed use by pedestrians, bike riders and motorists. The design eliminates specific sidewalks and curbs and uses a mixture of planters and pavement tiles to designate parking and sidewalk areas.
- The completion of a new six acre park and reconfiguration of the Lakefront Trail, so that faster moving users are separated from walkers and strollers in the heavily congested stretch of Lincoln Park near Fullerton Ave.
- Reconstructed the North Avenue Pedestrian Bridge access to Lincoln Park and the North Avenue Beach. The project was completed in a record time of less than two months to make sure the bridge was available throughout the summer.
- Completed the final phase of Riverwalk, creating a 1.25 mile promenade from Lake Michigan to Lake Street.
- Completed and opened of the Union Station Transit Center at the western edge of the Loop, connecting Metra, Amtrak and CTA bus and rail service with the Loop and the rest of Chicago.
- Overhauled South Lake Shore Drive concrete work to mitigate buckling during hot summer days. Over a two week period, CDOT inspected, ground out and replaced asphalt in every joint on the roadway from 18th to 57th Streets.
- Built a new pedestrian bridge over Lake Shore Drive at 35th Street. Construction of the suspension bridge began in March and the new bridge opened to the public in November.
- Rebuilt the sidewalks and upgraded lighting of the 92nd Street bascule bridge. The movable sidewalks’ deck grating and steel framing was removed and replaced by the CDOT in-house construction team. Throughout the project, construction crews had to contend with more than 800 bridge lifts to allow river traffic to continue without delays.
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