Caucus Members 1671043008798


CHICAGO – Members of the Senate Democratic Caucus joined the governor at a ribbon cutting ceremony Wednesday to commemorate the end of construction on Chicago’s Jane Byrne Interchange.

“The ability to transport people and goods has long been a strength that set Illinois apart,” said Illinois Senate President Don Harmon (D-Oak Park). “The ability to finally wrap up this project after so many delays is a testament to a new leadership in our state that is focused on getting things done and moving Illinois forward. I want to thank the thousands of skilled trade workers who brought this project to conclusion. And I want to thank everyone involved at the local, state and federal level for recognizing this project as a priority, seeing it through and finally making this transportation gateway to our future a reality. And I especially want to thank the motoring public who patiently put up with nearly a decade’s worth of construction delays to get us to this point.”

The Jane Byrne Interchange serves more than 400,000 commuters each day, connecting I-90/94, I-290 and downtown. Construction began in 2013 and is expected to be completed in the coming weeks. Rebuilding and expanding the interchange saw 35 separate projects over the course of nine years that aim to reduce congestion, expand access to transit in neighboring areas, and improve bridges and cross streets. More than $800 million in state and federal investments went into rebuilding the Jane Byrne.

Even after delays and cost overruns, the Illinois Department of Transportation estimates the project will generate $180 million in annual savings and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by one-third. Major construction is set to be complete soon with only minor projects remaining, like landscaping and painting.

"The Jane Byrne Interchange connects all corners of Chicago to the heart of the city," said State Senator Jacqueline Y. Collins (D-Chicago). "Improving this essential transportation hub will ensure that communities across our city have greater access to the jobs and opportunities needed to provide economic stability for their families."

“Upgrading Illinois’ infrastructure will help grow business investment in the state and create thousands of good paying jobs for our sisters and brothers in labor,” said Senator Bill Cunningham, a Democrat who represents portions of Chicago and the Southwest Suburbs.

“My hat is off to the talented teams of all the agencies at the state and local levels, and the engagement of neighbors in proximity to the site, in achieving this milestone for the Jane Byrne Interchange,” said Assistant Senate Majority Leader Linda Holmes (D-Aurora). “The collaborators found solutions to traffic congestion, safety concerns, air quality and increasing green spaces, and pedestrian and bicycle-friendly access for now and in the future.”

“It is exciting to be nearing the completion of this project, which has been in the works since 2013,” said State Senate Majority Leader Mattie Hunter, (D-Chicago). “Finally, on the most famous interchange in Chicago, communities will be reconnected with enhanced traffic and mobility operations, reduced congestion and improved safety on roadways.”

“After almost 10 years, the vision for Chicago’s extraordinary interchange is becoming a reality, which will affect hundreds of thousands of commuters,” said State Senator Patricia Van Pelt, (D-Chicago). “Despite challenges with reconstruction, bridges have been rebuilt and reopened, minimizing traffic impacts one expressway at a time.”

"More than 35 separate projects went into rebuilding the Jane Byrne Interchange, and I am proud of the hardworking men and women who made it happen," said State Senator Ram Villivalam (D-Chicago), chair of the Senate Transportation Committee. "Soon, the more than 400,000 daily commuters who rely on the interchange will see their commutes improved with reconnected neighborhoods and enhanced access to transit. These improvements will ensure that Chicagoans in every neighborhood have reliable access to transportation and the opportunities that come with it."