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Memorial Day 2018 weekend: Here are the worst times to leave Chicago

Get ready to get out of town


Whether you plan to stay or go, you’re bound to hit some Memorial Day weekend traffic. More than 41.5 million people are traveling this weekend—nearly a 5 percent increase from last year and the most in more than a dozen years, according to AAA.

So, expect nothing less than a nightmare on the roads during peak travel hours. Delays could be three times longer than normal in some cities, according to INRIX, a global transportation analytics company. In Chicago, the heaviest traffic, which could double your driving time, is expected between 4:00 and 6:00 p.m on Friday.

CTA and Metra

If you’re staying in town and heading to the Cubs game at Wrigley Field, the CTA will be adding extra service on the Yellow Line, Red Line, and bus lines No. 80 and No. 152. Also, the CTA and Metra will run on a Sunday schedule on Monday, Memorial Day.

O’Hare and Midway airports

Flying out for the long weekend? Things are looking good as good weather graces Chicago. Delays at both airports are 15 minutes or less with 1 cancelled flight at Midway and 11 at O’Hare as of Friday at noon.

Events and Road Closures

Memorial Day Parade

The city’s annual parade honoring the women and men in the armed forces will take place Saturday, May 26 at 11 a.m. with a wreath laying ceremony. The parade will begin at noon and head south on State Street from Lake Street to Van Buren Streets.

Soldier Field 10 Miler

The race begins at 7 a.m. on Saturday, May 26 so Fort Dearborn Drive will shut down until 8:45 a.m. and the northbound lanes of Lake Shore Drive from 31st Street to 57th Street will be closed until 9:30 a.m.

Bike the Drive

Lake Shore Drive will be closed on Sunday, May 27 from Bryn Mawr Avenue to 57th Street from 5 a.m. until 11 a.m. as bikers take a scenic, lakefront ride along the car-less road.