Chicago is a vibrant and intriguing city to explore, but you may need to tackle some tricky transportation to get where you’re going. Chicago has ample traffic, lengthy rush hours, and frequent construction projects to keep you on your toes when you’re navigating the city. No matter where you’re headed, it’s important to have the right car insurance. You can rely on American Auto Insurance for affordable and reliable Chicago car insurance options, including SR-22 coverage.
We have the information you’re looking for to safely navigate Chicago’s construction projects this year, along with the insurance you need to stay legally covered on the road. Contact our team at American Auto Insurance today for all your automobile coverage needs.
Lower Your Speed for Construction
In construction zones, you’ll see signs indicating speeds that are usually at least 10 miles under the typical speed limit. These speeds apply regardless of whether workers are present in the construction zone, so it’s vital that you pay close attention to these regulations at all times. Most people who are injured or killed in construction zones are not workers but those who are passing through the area.
If you exceed the posted speed limit by less than 26 mph, you’re guilty of a petty offense and will face a minimum fine of $250 for your first offense and $750 for your second offense. If there are workers present for your first offense and you commit a second offense within two years of the first, you’ll have your license suspended for 90 days.
For traveling 26 to 35 mph over the posted speed limit, you’re guilty of a Class B misdemeanor, punishable with a fine of $1,500 and up to six months in jail. Speeds above this in a construction zone are a Class A misdemeanor, which is punishable by a $2,500 fine and up to a year in jail.
Follow Scott’s Law
Scott’s Law, also known as the Move Over Law, was named for Lieutenant Scott Gillen, a firefighter with the Chicago Fire Department. Scott was assisting at a crash site when he was struck and killed by a drunk driver. This law states that you must slow down and change lanes if possible for any emergency, maintenance, or construction vehicle or worker. A violation of Scott’s Law is punishable with a fine of up to $10,000 and suspension of your driver’s license.
Prepare for Known Construction Zones
You’re more likely to get into trouble speeding through a construction zone if you’re running late and unprepared for the delay. When you plan time into your commute in advance, you won’t be caught out by slower speed limits and other construction-related delays.
Visit the ChiStreetWork map portal for up-to-date information on construction projects happening in your area. You can enter any Chicago address for a detailed map of the surrounding projects and potential delays. This will show you a variety of hazards, including:
- Construction projects, complete with a description of the work.
- Permits obtained for any street obstruction, such as special events, general occupancy, or maintenance work, with details on the nature of the permit.
- Dig tickets with information on the project.
- Road closures.
- Special events.
The Illinois Department of Transportation releases regular announcements concerning construction projects throughout the city. The site alerts drivers to temporary lane closures, lane changes, and road reopenings.
Chicago’s landscape is continually changing, with a near-constant range of construction and maintenance projects. Regularly reviewing the latest construction zones and other anticipated obstructions will help you streamline your drive, particularly when you’re covering a long distance or navigating a busy part of the inner city.
Upcoming Road Construction in 2024
If you’re planning to hit the streets of Chicago this year, it’s helpful to keep some of the major upcoming road projects in mind. Plan for delays around these areas, and schedule your day accordingly.
Kennedy Expressway Project
Phase one of the Kennedy Expressway project reached completion in late 2023. This project will pause for the winter months but should resume with phase two in March 2024 and focus on the express lanes. The reversible express lanes will be closed for rehabilitation of bridge structures and the Reversible Lane Access Control system. This project will also include mainline lane closures between Ohio and Lake Street for road painting and the installation of LED lighting in both directions. The project should reach completion in the fall of 2024.
Lake Street Bridge Replacement
An extensive rehabilitation project that will completely replace Lake Street Bridge is expected to begin sometime in 2024 and take two years to complete. Lake Street will close between Canal Street and Wacker Drive for an 18-month period as drivers are rerouted on Randolph Street to cross the river at Washington Street for eastbound traffic or Madison Street for westbound traffic.
The project will require two 12-day closures of the Chicago Transit Authority Pink and Green train lines while the new bridge is installed in two phases.
Jackson Park Project
Several roadway projects are taking place in Jackson Park to streamline transportation and improve surroundings for two Chicago highlights: the Obama Presidential Center and the Chicago Park District’s South Lakefront. Improvements began in 2022 and are expected to continue through 2025 and beyond. Phase two impacting the area south of 64th Street should take place from 2023 through 2025. Over the first half of 2024, this will include roadway paving and utility work on Stoney Island Avenue.
Carry the Right Insurance
By law, all Chicago drivers must carry a minimum amount of liability insurance. If you’ve been found guilty of a traffic infraction, you may need to maintain SR-22 certification with your insurance as well. Our team at American Auto Insurance can help you find the right plan and get all the insurance proof and paperwork you need to stay well covered in Chicago. Call us now for a personalized quote.