Chicago Department of Transportation

Lake Shore Drive S-Curve Relocation

Chicago, IL

As part of its long-range transportation program, and in conjunction with the Illinois Center Development, the City of Chicago proposed to relocate a mile-long segment of Lake Shore Drive, an eight-lane urban arterial. In its previous configuration, Lake Shore Drive had two 90-degree turns, severely restricting the flow of traffic and creating a serious safety hazard.

Benesch completed the alignment study for Lake Shore Drive, interchange design studies at Randolph Street and Wacker Drive and preparation of the preliminary plans and final contract documents. We also executed construction surveys for harbor cross-sectioning, utility coordination and movement of existing sewer lines, other underground utilities and the layout of precise control base lines for location of caissons, piers and dockwalls.

The entire $38,000,000 relocation was completed on structure and landfill.

Lake Shore Drive has two levels, between Randolph Street and Wacker Drive. These tie into the intermediate and lower levels of the three-level street system serving the Illinois Center Development. Additional elements of the project included revisions to the Monroe Street Harbor; 2,000 feet of new dockwall; a turning basin for ships entering the Chicago River; a lakefront park; storm sewers; and a flood control drop structure connecting the storm sewer to the Deep Tunnel reservoir.

Project highlights

  • Mile-long relocation of eight-lane urban arterial roadway
  • Alignment and interchange studies to improve traffic flow and increase safety
  • Relocation completed adjacent to large mixed-use development with three-level roadway system
  • New structures and landfill required to construct new alignment