The Chicago Department of Transportation issued a letter on Tuesday to the Office of Underground Coordination, establishing a moratorium on construction-related projects during this year’s Lollapalooza music festival. The lone exception, according to the letter, is for emergency projects that require immediate attention.
Lolla takes place in Grant Park over four days, and the city goes to great lengths to make sure the area stays isolated from surrounding traffic funneling from Michigan Avenue and nearby Lake Shore Drive. Delaying construction helps mitigate those concerns to an extent.
Further details below on the moratorium.
Where: Per a letter penned by the CDOT Deputy Commissioner Michael Simon to members of the OUC utility members and contractors, “The moratorium applies to the easternmost point of Division Street extended to Lake Michigan, then west on Division Street to Halsted, then south on Halsted St. to Cermak Rd., then east on Cermak Rd. to its easternmost point extended to Lake Michigan.”
When: The moratorium goes into effect starting at 6am on Saturday, July 29 and ending at 3:30pm on Tuesday, August 8; this year’s Lollapalooza fest takes place August 3-6.
Why: Lollapalooza is one of the most populated annual events in Chicago, welcoming people from around the country for three days of non-stop music. Last year’s event drew more than 400,000 people, with an estimated 100,000 people attending each day. Foot traffic increases significantly and congested roads are always a concern. As Grant Park effectively turns into a giant collection of music fans, the city tries to improve safety in multiple respects. In 2015, 238 people were taken to the hospital for medical treatment, most likely a consequence of dehydration and over-drinking. It’s not clear whether any incidents were traffic-related, though it’s undeniable that the patch of road on Michigan Avenue directly across from Grant Park sees throngs of people crossing illegally and recklessly. Add alcohol to the equation and it’s even precarious.