With Traffic Impacts Starting, CDOT Unveils New Web Page to Provide Updates on Jackson Park Roadway Improvements Connected to Obama Presidential Center

August 13, 2021

Mike Claffey    312.744.0707 | Michael.Claffey@cityofchicago.org

Susan Hofer    312.742.2006 | Susan.Hofer@cityofchicago.org

CHICAGO – Starting on Monday, August 16, South Midway Plaisance will be permanently closed between Stony Island Avenue and Cornell Drive to allow for construction of the Obama Presidential Center (OPC), the Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT) announced today. CDOT also announced it has created a new online tool – at jacksonparkimprovements.org - that will keep the public informed about traffic impacts and upcoming roadway improvements in and around Jackson Park related to the OPC.  


The landing page includes current information on construction activities and traffic impacts; an opportunity to sign up for a mailing list for updates; general information about the OPC project; and details about efforts to ensure robust participation of minorities, women and veterans in the project. 


Starting Monday, August 16:  


  • South Midway Plaisance between Stony Island Avenue and Cornell Drive, which runs eastbound, will be permanently closed and included in the footprint of the OPC. 
  • Eastbound traffic on South Midway Plaisance heading to northbound DuSable Lake Shore Drive will be temporarily routed north on Stony Island and then east at 57th Street.  
  • Eastbound Midway Plaisance traffic looking to go southbound will be directed to southbound Stony Island.  
  • This temporary configuration is expected to remain in place for up to two weeks until North Midway Plaisance is converted to handle two lanes of traffic in each direction between Cornell Drive and Stony Island. 
  • Motorists are advised to use alternate routes to avoid anticipated delays. 


These are the first steps in allowing for the construction of the OPC and will set the stage for a series of future transportation improvements to be undertaken by CDOT that will be starting this fall that are intended to make Jackson Park, the OPC and the nearby Museum of Science and Industry 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 people biking, and accommodate existing and future traffic demand. 


The plan, approved by the City Council in 2018, will create more than five acres of new green space by converting the following roadway segments to parkland:  


•          Cornell Drive between North Midway Plaisance and Hayes Drive 

•          South Midway Plaisance between Stony Island Avenue and Cornell Drive  

•          Marquette Drive between Stony Island Avenue and Richards Drive  

•          Northbound Cornell Drive from 68th Street to where Cornell Drive becomes two-way 


For more information, go to www.jacksonparkimprovements.org

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