CDOT plans to open the new Elston alignment in early summer 2016. Work on the existing streets will start late spring and continue through the rest of the year. Final completion, including resurfacing, sidewalk replacement and landscaping will be completed in 2017. The following are updates about individual segments of the three arterial streets and work that will continue leading up to the construction of the new Elston segment scheduled to begin in early spring 2016.

Damen Avenue and Fullerton, west of Damen

People’s Gas and AT&T will continue to relocate their facilities through this area to prepare for new watermain installation scheduled for late spring. Traffic will be impacted on both Damen and Fullerton, with daily off-peak lane closures. However, at least one lane will be maintained in each direction. Work has begun south and west of the intersection, and will progress to the north and east.

Fullerton, east of Elston

CDOT’s contractors will continue sewer work in Fullerton where the new Elston alignment will eventually cross. The current traffic configuration (south lanes closed, all traffic pushed north) will remain in place through April.

Elston, south of Fullerton

Pavement has been patched and the lanes restored.

Elston Avenue, north of Fullerton

ComEd has some minor relocation work (+/- 2 weeks) to complete in Elston, starting in March. Otherwise, all lanes should remain open north of the intersection through the rest of the winter.


I am pleased to announce that the intersection of Damen, Elston, and Fullerton is undergoing a complete redesign. This intersection consistently ranks among the most congested and accident prone in the City. I have been working with the Chicago Department of Transportation and the surrounding neighborhoods since 2007 to design and fund significant safety and efficiency improvements.

The plan includes the rerouting of Elston Avenue around the existing six corner intersection with Damen and Fullerton. Analysis of other alternatives, including a tunnel or flyover, revealed them to be less effective and more expensive than this option.

This proposed project will significantly improve traffic safety and capacity and involves the acquisition of only a handful of properties and no displacement of any existing residences.

The benefits of the proposed project include:

  • Improved access to adjacent properties and businesses
  • Elimination of the six-legged intersection will reduce driver confusion and accidents
  • Majority of construction is off existing alignment minimizing traffic impacts during construction
  • Improved conditions for pedestrians and bicyclists
  • One year construction schedule
  • Avoidance of utility relocations and traffic lane reductions involved in a tunnel approach

There will be periodic lane closures associated with this intersection improvement project. Drivers should anticipate increased congestion in the area surrounding the intersection. I will be working with the Chicago Department of Transportation to provide updates and mitigate construction related issues as they may arise.

The Chicago Department of Transportation developed an informational piece summarizing the project, Damen Elston Fullerton Flyer

Prior reports and project information:

DEF Project Summary 051912 (pdf)

DEF Plan 030912 (pdf)

April 27, 2011 Public Forum Presentation (video)

April 2008 Public Presentation (pdf)

Fox Ford Breaks Ground

Intersection Prepares for Demo

Landscape Concepts for DEF (pdf)