CHICAGO – The Chicago Department of Aviation (CDA) is informing the community and travelers of extended lane reductions on Cicero Avenue near Midway International Airport that are set to begin next week and to continue during a portion of airport improvement projects. Effective Monday, January 15, 2018, one lane of traffic will be closed in each direction on South Cicero Avenue next to Midway International Airport in between West 56th Street and West 61st Street. The closures will reduce Cicero Avenue from a total of six lanes to four lanes for about a quarter of a mile with access for local traffic maintained with two lanes open in both directions.
The lane reductions will be in place through early 2020 to accommodate construction that will widen the Midway terminal pedestrian bridge over Cicero Avenue as part of the Midway Modernization Program (MMP).
To minimize the impact to the community as well as travelers, the CDA is coordinating closely with the Chicago Department of Transportation and other City of Chicago and state agencies to oversee a phased approach to construction on the bridge expansion project. This approach will minimize the effects of changing traffic patterns to the surrounding community and will ensure two lanes on either direction remain open at all times. City of Chicago traffic management staff will be added to guide traffic during peak times and message boards will be staged in advance of work areas to alert drivers of traffic pattern changes.
Motorists traveling north and southbound in the area are encouraged to consider alternate routes to avoid traffic on Cicero Avenue by utilizing Pulaski Road to the east, or Central Avenue or Harlem Avenue to the west in the area of Midway International Airport. Access to Midway’s terminal arrival and departure roadways and main terminal parking garage will be maintained at all times during construction. Midway airport travelers and employees are encouraged to use the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) Orange Line or Economy Parking garage/lots to avoid traffic on Cicero Avenue. In addition to using alternate routes to reach the airport, Midway passengers and employees should allow extra travel time.
Information and updates on traffic changes will be posted to www.MDWMod.com and www.flychicago.com/midway throughout the project. Traffic updates are also available on Midway’s ParkNet Radio Station (1630 AM) within one-mile radius of airport. The CDA has developed a flier detailing traffic changes with maps and travel tips for residents in and around the Midway community. The flier is included with this release and also available on the Midway Modernization website.
Beginning this week and continuing for the next three weeks, nightly lane closures will occur on the outermost (west) lane of southbound Cicero Avenue for approximately 500 feet in the immediate vicinity of Midway. The lane closure will be in effect from 9:30 p.m. to 3:30 a.m. as crews work to construct an additional roadway surface for vehicle traffic in advance of upcoming traffic pattern changes.
The construction work that begins on January 15 will involve demolition of the median in between the northbound and southbound lanes of Cicero Avenue next to the airport terminal. This activity requires the closure of the innermost lane of Cicero in both directions and is expected to take two to three weeks to complete. Following the median demolition, construction work will begin immediately on the bridge that will require a long-term closure of all northbound lanes of Cicero Avenue next to Midway’s terminal. Two lanes of traffic in both directions will be shifted west on to existing and new temporary lanes. Subsequent work on the project over the next two years will involve lane closures and traffic pattern changes on Cicero Avenue.
About the Midway Bridge/Security Checkpoint Expansion Project
The lane closures are to accommodate construction of a new security checkpoint and bridge expansion project at Midway. A new 80,000-square-foot security pavilion will be created to allow for additional security lanes, enhanced technology and a single checkpoint system that will double Transportation Security Administration (TSA) screening capacity and increase efficiency for passengers. The new security structure and expansion of the pedestrian bridge will provide for a streamlined, single-checkpoint area that will be seven times wider than the current security hall and featuring new technology. This development, combined with new TSA automated lanes, is expected to increase the hourly throughput from 2,500 to 5,000 passengers per hour—double the existing capacity. Beyond the expanded capacity for TSA screening functions, the project will contribute to other aspects of the MMP by adding 18,000-square- feet for new concession opportunities. Over the next two years, the $104 million security checkpoint project will create 470 new construction jobs.
About the Midway Modernization Program (MMP)
The security checkpoint expansion represents the first major component of the MMP – a nearly $400 million investment announced by Mayor Emanuel in 2015 to deliver the airport’s most significant capital upgrade in nearly two decades. The other major projects of the MMP include the expansion to the terminal parking garage to add 1,500 parking spaces and a complete renovation and expansion of Midway’s concessions program that will deliver new local offerings, national brands, new healthy options and expanded retail offerings by 2020.
The CDA maintains a Midway Modernization website, www.MDWMod.com, to deliver key information to passengers as well as the general public. The website features regular updates on construction of the three key components of the MMP, as well as information that will help travelers plan accordingly and minimize the impact of construction on travel plans. The site will also post information about career fairs and job opportunities for residents.