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Old Posted Dec 5, 2021, 9:52 PM
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ardecila ardecila is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: the city o'wind
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Quote:
Originally Posted by left of center View Post
I recall there being a lot of backlash from the public that the 2000s rebuild of 55 was not done with 4 lanes at the time. I also recall the toll lane discussions under Rauner, but of course like almost everything else under his term, it fizzled.

I assume the futureproofing is the grassy median in the middle of 55 through the city (between Harlem and Halsted), which appears to have enough room for an additional lane in each direction. East of Halsted, I assume the shoulder will be getting the axe? Or perhaps the 4 lanes will end after the 90/94 spaghetti bowl. There's not a lot of room under those bridges east of that interchange, like Canal/UP railyard, Wentworth, State, etc. It's probably not absolutely necessary to make it 4 lanes to LSD anyway.

I have noticed that when IDOT rebuilt the 1st Ave. interchange over 55 a few years back, they widened the bridge itself to easily accommodate new lanes, so it appears expansion still something that the state is still planning. If its done, I wonder how far out of city limits the 4 lanes would go for. They can probably easily do it up to 294/Mannheim. After that, you are talking about a lot of interchange rebuilding.
The Rauner plan was tentatively a 4th lane from 355 to 90/94, this was futureproofed in the city already - not just the existence of the median but some of the bridge structures have extra width, and through Bridgeport the bridges have all these little nubs to support noise walls that would be legally required in the event of a widening. All you'd need to do is add some steel girders to widen those bridges and infill the median with concrete.

At some point they discussed a 4th lane between 355 and 294, and then two additional lanes between 294 and 90/94 (making that section 10 lanes total). That would have been a much more expensive plan requiring higher tolls or maybe even a big wad of taxpayer money on top of the toll revenue.
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