You know, because it’s cool. Ridiculously cool.
Work on the Jane Byrne Interchange continues on the west side of downtown Chicago. Currently, the center lanes of Congress Parkway are a skylight over Clinton, Jefferson, and Desplaines Streets as they’re rebuilt, while supports have been started for the exit ramp that will eventually connect the inbound Dan Ryan to Congress.
And now, random photos:
Wanda Vista Tower isn’t the only construction happening along East Upper Wacker Drive. The roadway itself is getting an upgrade too, as crews extend the dead-end portion of the elevated street that will front the new tower. This is the reason you have to turn around and go back west a tad earlier than you used to. What, you thought you could get to Lake Shore Drive from up here?
Yeah, well that was construction. Let’s talk about demolition for a minute. Because for every reaction, there’s an equal and opposite reaction. Granted, the reaction usually comes first. As in, something is demolished to make room for something new. But in this case, the ramp that used to connect the inbound Dan Ryan Expressway to the outbound Eisenhower Expressway was replaced before it was removed. Which crews are doing now. And for some reason, they’ve chosen to do a great deal of the jack hammering at night. Or should I say, overnight. Not a huge thrill for denizens of the West Loop, South Loop, and the Medical District. Part of that has to do with removing the beams over the expressway lanes at night, when there’s less traffic to be affected by periodic closures. But it’s loud. Really loud.
You’ll note in the photos that follow the presence of caisson equipment, including rebar cages. I can’t wait to see what that’s all for.
It was a busy weekend for McHugh Construction and the giant red Stevenson crane (we call it “Steve” around here) at the Jane Byrne Flyover. One more section of girders was added west of the Halsted Street bridge, leaving a void only the width of Halsted Street to be spanned. If you’ve got a jumping bus like Sandra Bullock drove in Speed, go ahead and see if you can shoot the gap. Otherwise, you’ll have to wait for one more weekend of work. But don’t forget, there’s no ramp to the ground on the west end of the Flyover yet, either, so check your brakes.
Connecting traffic from the inbound Dan Ryan Expressway to the outbound Eisenhower Expressway, the Jane Byrne Flyover has been entertaining scores of bloggers with windows in direct view of the action for months as it curves over top of the Circle Interchange. But lest anyone get complacent, McHugh Construction threw us for a loop (heh) last week.
As we stared out our windows waiting for the next girders (I was told to say “girders” instead of “beams.” I know that may be technically correct, but “Girder me up, Scotty!” and “Girder there, done that” just don’t work) to be placed over top of Halsted Street, there suddenly appeared more beams (old habits) from the west. I like it. Shake things up a little.
So guess what I did? Yep, I went down there and snapped a few shots. Here ya go:
I cannot recommend enough that everyone live where construction is right outside your window. Quiet construction. Relatively un-dusty construction.
Like the Jane Byrne Flyover, for example. Close enough to be mesmerizing, yet far enough away that nary a peep can be heard.
They’re building a new ramp from the inbound Dan Ryan Expressway to the outbound Eisenhower Expressway. As soon as I see equipment amassing inside the Circle Interchange (as it used to be known) I get the coffee hot and the Red Bull cold for optimal night-work spectating. That’s when McHugh Construction lifts the beams into place that form the roadway. Usually. They did some day-time work this time around, as well.
The photos that follow are from two phases of work: One from June 6-8, and just this past weekend, June 17-19.