CHICAGO
04/04/2013 11:10 am ET

Circle Interchange Reconstruction Proposal: IDOT Unveils Pricey Plan To Ease Congestion

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The Illinois Department of Transportation on Wednesday revealed their preferred $420 million proposal to revamp the notorious bottleneck of the Circle Interchange downtown.

The 60-year-old traffic mess where the Dan Ryan, Kennedy and Eisenhower Expressways meet is in dire need of an upgrade, IDOT said Wednesday -- even if it means short-term pain for area drivers during the four years of construction that are anticipated, the Chicago Sun-Times reports.

Among the proposal for the interchange are adding a fourth lane to Interstate 90/94, as well as doubling the lanes on two ramps that typically are the most congested: northbound I-90/94 to westbound I-290 and eastbound I-290 to northbound I-90/94, according to NBC Chicago.

While IDOT claims the plan would reduce daily delays for drivers by up to 50 percent, not everyone is on board. Residents living near the so-called "Spaghetti Bowl" say the design would add a ramp too near their home.

Residents of the Green Street Lofts, 400 S. Green St., will live within about 20 feet of a new ramp -- an improvement from the originally planned 7.5 feet, but still too close for comfort for some, the Chicago Tribune reports.

IDOT still need to finalize the plan and obtain state and federal funding for it. Meanwhile, state and federal authorities are soliciting feedback for the plan online.

Photo by Mike Miley via Flickr.

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