Today's big news (for infrastructure geeks, at least) is that Damen-Elston-Fullerton, the North Side's biggest clusterfuck of an intersection, is going to be fixed. Yippee! Elston will be rerouted to the north, bypassing the the Damen-Fullerton intersection. CDOT promises that the new street will be better for pedestrians and cyclists, it'll be safer, and of course, there will be less congestion. Best of all, it'll only take one season to build, and traffic won't be affected too much while it's being constructed. That's great news! (But not so great businesses like WhirlyBall and Midtown Tennis Club that currently own property that CDOT will annex for the new street.) Before the plan was finalized, there were a few other options on the table.
The first option was to do nothing at all. We have not included an image of that option, because it's boring. The second idea that was floated was for a Fullerton underpass below Damen and Elston. That plan was scrapped because it would take a long time to build (and would probably be very expensive); it didn't address all of the intersection's problems, and there are a bunch of utility lines that would have to be moved. The other alternative was a Fullerton bridge that would pass over the intersection. The bridge option was rejected for many of the same reasons as the tunnel option; plus, it was deemed too "visually imposing." So there you have it.
· City Unveils Bold Reconfiguration Plan For Damen-Elston-Fullerton [Expired Meter]
· Public Meeting Presentation April 27, 2011 [CDOT]