Damen, Elston and Fullerton has long been one of Chicago’s worst intersections, regularly causing lengthy delays and frequently putting commuters and pedestrians in harm's way. To alleviate the problem, the city set out to reshape the six-way intersection and improve safety at what officials called one of the city’s most crash-prone areas.
On Tuesday, the city officially opened a new realigned section of Elston Avenue that creates separate intersections at Damen and Elston, and Fullerton and Elston. The newly constructed roadway includes two through lanes for vehicles and protected bike lanes in both directions.
“Damen, Elston, and Fullerton used to be one of Chicago's most dangerous and most congested intersections, one that drivers would try to avoid at all costs,” Mayor Rahm Emanuel said in a news release. “Now with the fully opened, new intersection at Elston and Fullerton, traffic is flowing more smoothly and drivers can actually get through on a single traffic light.”
As part of the $22.5 million reconstruction project, Damen and the north sidewalk on Fullerton will be widened, and all roads within the limits of the project will be resurfaced. Ongoing work is expected to continue through spring, and includes new street lights on Fullerton and Damen, installation of permanent traffic signals and the complete reconstruction of Elston Court from Fullerton to the new section of Elston.
Chicago Department of Transportation Commissioner Rebekah Scheinfeld praised the project and the improvements it brought to an intersection that has more than 70,000 vehicles pass through it daily. “We’ve come up with a creative solution that has rerouted Elston and synchronized traffic signals to relieve congestion, improving safety for everyone who travels through the area,” she said.
Here's what the intersection of Damen, Elston and Fullerton looked like before the reconstruction project.
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