History & Overview
The original construction of the Jane Byrne Interchange (formerly known as the Circle Interchange) began in the 1950’s. The interchange is located in the heart of downtown Chicago, in an active urban environment. The Interchange links the Dan Ryan Expressway (I-90/94) to the south, the Kennedy Expressway (I-90/94) to the north, the Eisenhower Expressway (I-290) to the west, and Ida B. Wells Drive (formerly known as Congress Parkway) to the east and sits in a tight footprint. The Jane Byrne Interchange has not had a major rehabilitation since it originally opened to traffic nearly 60 years ago.
Today, over 400,000 vehicles travel through the interchange daily and it is one of the worst bottlenecks in the country for traffic and freight congestion. The interchange experiences breakdown conditions for many hours of the day, causing substantial backups in every direction.
The Jane Byrne Interchange is critical to the nation's transportation system, particularly for freight movement on our Interstate and arterial roadways, as well as to regional railroads and waterways. The Jane Byrne Interchange serves as a vital hub for local, regional, and national freight traffic. The Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP) estimates that 36 percent of freight truck traffic in the Chicago region passes through this area.
The Jane Byrne Interchange Reconstruction Project brings upgraded roadway design and system operations while also placing a priority on how to best serve the community. With this goal in mind, focus was placed on reconnecting neighborhoods and enhancing pedestrian, bike and transit modes for the surrounding areas. Once completed, the Jane Byrne Interchange will improve mobility and traffic operations, reduce congestion, improve safety, and enhance the interchange aesthetics.