Construction workers, start your building!
Hell hath arrived downtown as the construction for the NASCAR Chicago Street Race has begun along Jean-Baptiste Pointe DuSable Lake Shore Drive. Massive scaffolding is in the process of going up near Buckingham Fountain and the oft-traveled lakefront highway is officially shut down for certain stretches as the city preps for the inaugural race event.
You can view the full list of shut downs below, via Block Club Chicago:
June 18-19: At 7 p.m., a temporary closure is planned on Jackson Drive from Michigan Avenue to Columbus Drive.
June 19: At 6 a.m., a full closure is planned on Balbo Drive from Michigan Avenue to DuSable Lake Shore Drive.
June 20: At 6 a.m., a northbound lane closure is planned on Columbus Drive from Roosevelt Road to Balbo Drive. CTA buses will be rerouted.
June 21: At 6 a.m., a northbound lane closure is planned on Columbus Drive from Balbo to Jackson drives. The sidewalks will be closed. Corners will remain open for access to Buckingham Fountain.
June 22: At 6 a.m., a southbound lane closure is planned on Columbus Drive from Balbo Drive to Roosevelt Road. The sidewalk on Columbus Drive will be closed. The Columbus Drive underpass will remain open.
June 23: At 6 a.m., a southbound lane closure is planned on Columbus Drive from Jackson to Balbo drives.
June 24: At 6 a.m., a northbound traffic lane closure is planned on the Congress Circle.
June 26:At 6 a.m., full closures are planned at Michigan Avenue, Van Buren Street, Harrison Street, and the entrance to Congress Circle. At 6 a.m., an eastbound closure is planned on Roosevelt Road between Columbus Drive and DuSable Lake Shore Drive.
At 8 p.m., a southbound lane closure is planned on DuSable Lake Shore Drive between Balbo Drive and Roosevelt Road. At 8 p.m., a northbound lane closure is planned on Michigan Avenue between Van Buren and Jackson Drive. At 8 p.m., a full closure is planned on Jackson Drive from Columbus to DuSable Lake Shore drives. At 8 p.m., a full closure is planned on Monroe Street between Columbus and DuSable Lake Shore drives. At 10 p.m., a full closure is planned on southbound DuSable Lake Shore Drive between Monroe Drive and McFetridge Road.
June 29:At 8 p.m., a full closure is planned of northbound Michigan Avenue between Balbo and Jackson drives. At 10 p.m., a full closure of westbound and eastbound Roosevelt Road is planned between Columbus and DuSable Lake Shore drives. At 10 p.m., southbound Michigan Avenue will be closed between Balbo and Jackson drives.
June 30: At 5 p.m., a closure is planned of southbound Michigan Avenue between Balbo and Jackson drives.
July 1: At 5 a.m., a full closure is planned of northbound DuSable Lake Shore Drive from McFetridge Drive to Randolph Street.
WGN’s birds eye helicopter picked up picture of the erected structures. It appears that the President’s Paddock Club, an elevated VIP area with panoramic views of the entire race is what the final product will become. Tickets for that begin at…well…expensive. Ida B Wells Dr is currently closed from Columbus to Michigan, which isn’t an important stretch of road for commuters or anything.
NASCAR in Chicago: Construction of the elevated viewing area is underway in Grant Park. Ida B Wells CLOSED Columbus-Michigan.
The website says this elevated area will be the President’s Paddock Club- “the most luxurious race weekend experience” with tickets starting at $3,015 pic.twitter.com/dqsVFf0cDz
— Sarah Jindra (@SarahJindra) June 13, 2023
And the closures on actual race weekend, via the City of Chicago:
I’ve said it once and I’ll continue to say it: The NASCAR Street Race Event in Chicago is a losing proposition. It’s going to draw fans. People are going to attend. It’s in all likelihood going to be something we talk about for the rest of the summer because it was “cool”. But it’s like North Avenue Beach, because it gets to a point where you digest and say to yourself, “at what cost?”
This city is already frustrating enough to navigate. We’ve had construction going simultaneously on every highway in and out of the city for the past 32 years of my life. I can’t drive down Ashland Avenue without doing at least $1200 worth of damage to the undercarriage of my car. And these are all just transportation and infrastructure issues. Let me also say that I’m not blaming the NASCAR Street Race for getting in the way or any of those things. I’m just saying, it’s difficult for me to care about some boutique effort for NASCAR to piggyback onto the growing popularity of F1 in America at the expense of virtually everything about a Chicago summer.
It’s a losing effort, that’s about the ‘it’ of it.
Featured Image Credit: Hendricks Motorsports
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