A critical downtown artery, Wacker Drive is home to several buildings that define Chicago’s iconic skyline. The street is actually a multi-level viaduct structure with upper- and lower-level traffic that jogs along the Chicago River and borders the central business district.
The Willis Tower (formerly the Sears Tower), the Civic Opera House, and the Chicago Mercantile Exchange are among those that claim a prestigious Wacker Drive address. An estimated 60,000 vehicles use the drive daily, along with 225,000 pedestrians and vehicles on the associated cross streets.
The north-south leg of the viaduct is being reconstructed to modernize the upper and lower levels, providing a safer, more-efficient roadway for motorists and pedestrians. The reconstructed viaduct is 2,900 ft long and 140 ft wide, equaling more than nine acres. This project is an exceptional example of complex urban reconstruction with notable accomplishments in structural engineering, stakeholder communication, maintenance of traffic, and infrastructure security.