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City of Chicago and NASCAR reveal traffic plan

Photo caption: NASCAR Chicago Street Race Route 

In April, the City of Chicago and NASCAR officials revealed their traffic plan for the NASCAR Chicago Street Race, which will take place from July 1–2, this summer.

According to NASCAR, the plan provides an outline for street closures, parking restrictions, and pedestrian routes in and around Grant Park.

With Chicago hosting its first-ever cup series street race in NASCAR’s 75-year history, residents and visitors are encouraged to be mindful of the traffic impacts, as well as safety measures in place.

“The City of Chicago has been working with NASCAR in the planning and execution of the race to minimize disruptions to residents and visitors while making it a safe event for everyone,” said Rich Guidice, Executive Director of the Office of Emergency Management and Communications (OEMC). “Safety is our top priority, and we will help monitor all race activity leading up to the event, through the race weekend, and following the event to help coordinate city resources and expectations.”

The group said Chicago residents can expect to see street closures, parking restrictions, reroutes, and traffic impacts. All businesses and residences will remain accessible throughout the race weekend.

Pre-race activity will begin Friday, June 2, with parking restrictions along Columbus Dr. between Jackson Dr. and Balbo Dr. On Saturday, June 10, Wells Dr. will close east of Michigan Ave. starting at 12:01 a.m. to allow for construction of the main viewing areas.

Temporary road closures from Saturday, June 17 to Sunday, June 25, will allow for track wall installation, with the exception of Balbo Dr., which will close at 6 a.m. on Monday, June 19, from Michigan Ave. to DuSable Lake Shore Dr.

The most significant closures will start on Sunday, June 25 at 12:01 a.m. with the closure of Columbus Dr. between Jackson Dr. and Roosevelt Rd. On Wednesday, June 28, at 10:00 p.m., southbound DuSable Lake Shore Dr. from Randolph St. to McFetridge Dr. will close. On Thursday, June 29, starting at 8:00 p.m., Roosevelt Rd. east of Columbus Dr. and northbound Michigan Ave. will close. On Friday, June 30, at 5:00 p.m. southbound Michigan Ave. between Balbo Dr. and Jackson Dr. will close.

During race weekend, northbound DuSable Lake Shore Dr. will close on Saturday, July 1, at 4:00 a.m. between McFetridge Dr. and Randolph St. as an added safety precaution. Northbound DuSable Lake Shore Dr. will begin reopening Sunday, July 2.

Streets will begin reopening as early as 7 a.m. on Monday, July 3, following the conclusion of the event. All street closures are expected to remain in effect as demobilization of the track wall, fence, and viewing structures takes place. The priority streets to reopen are DuSable Lake Shore Dr, Michigan Ave, and Columbus Dr. Other street closures will remain in effect as demobilization of the track wall, fence, and viewing structures takes place. Activity is expected to conclude by Saturday, July 15.

The Chicago Park District will prioritize public access during the NASCAR Chicago Street Race, keeping more than half of the park open during the event, including set-up and tear down. Access to popular park features like Buckingham Fountain, Butler Field, and Lower Hutchinson Field will remain accessible to the public with minimal restrictions that equate to less than one-fifth of event operation days. In addition, free festival activities associated with the Chicago Street Race will be held on Butler Field, inviting the public to learn more about NASCAR without the price of admission. Maggie Daley Park, Cancer Survivor’s Garden, and the Museum Campus will remain open and accessible throughout the event and welcome visitors during regular operating hours.

Additional information, including plans to ensure local access, rerouting information, and specific reopening timelines, will be shared through the NASCAR Chicago Street Race community information website launching later this month, upcoming community engagement meetings, and direct communications. Visual representations of major closures accompany this release to improve clarity. Updates to this plan may be made prior to the start of the event.

Sports Editor at Chicago Crusader Newspaper | + posts

Joseph Phillips is the Sports Editor for the Chicago Crusader Newspaper. He is a Chicago native, who has been a sports writer for over 17 years. He also hosts the SC Media News and Sports Network Q&A radio show on WHPK 88.5 FM Chicago.

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