August 10, 2020

Street Closures, Bridge Lifts, Transit Changes: Access to Downtown Restricted After Looting


Chicago Police Supt. David Brown announced earlier Monday that access to downtown Chicago would be “restricted” from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m.

Part of Lake Shore Drive will be closed, several expressway ramps blocked, bridges up and rail service suspended for parts of Chicago Monday night and Tuesday morning as the city restricts access to its downtown following hours of looting and unrest that left several city businesses damaged and led to more than 100 arrests.

Chicago Police Supt. David Brown announced earlier Monday that access to downtown would be “restricted” from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. as part of a multi-layer plan that was also used when looting and unrest unfolded in the city earlier this summer following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot discusses overnight chaos that erupted downtown early Monday and resulted in more than 100 arrests and left 13 officers injured.

The city’s Office of Emergency Management and Communications later released details on what those restrictions would include.

According to OEMC the following closures are expected during those hours:

Lake Shore Drive will be closed between:

  • Fullerton Avenue on the North and I-55 on the South 

Downtown Bridges:
All Bridges will be up by 8 p.m. with the exception of the following:

  • LaSalle Street 
  • Harrison Street 
  • Ida B. Wells / Congress Bridge (West Bound Open Only) 
  • Lake Shore Drive 
  • Columbus Avenue 
  • Kinzie Street 
  • Grand Avenue 

Expressway Closures:

  • All Ramps from Roosevelt Road to Division Street will be closed in both directions. 


·       Red Line service will not run between Fullerton and 47th
·       Blue Line service will not run between Division and UIC-Halsted
·       Green Line service will not run between Ashland and 47th
·       Brown Line service will not run between Belmont and Loop
·       Orange Line service will not run between Halsted and Loop
·       Pink Line service will not run between Polk and Loop

  • Bus Service will remain open at this time. Some buses will see reroutes due to bridge and street closures. 


  • Divvy Service will not be available from North Avenue to Ashland Avenue and Cermak Road between 8 p.m. and 6 a.m. 

In order to access restricted locations, people will need to show proof they live or work in the area.

Access Points for residents and employees of area businesses include:

  • Harrison Street 
  • Chicago Avenue and Halsted Street 
  • Roosevelt Road and Canal Street 
  • Kinzie Street and Halsted Street 
  • LaSalle Street 

“Entrance into the perimeter will be manned by officers with the Chicago Police Department. When arriving at the access points, residents or employees must show identification as proof that you live or work in the area,” OEMC said in an alert Monday evening, noting that the restrictions are not considered a curfew like ones put in place earlier this summer.

A heavy police presence is set to continue in downtown Chicago Monday, Brown said, noting that officers will be working on 12-hour shifts with no days off “until further notice.”

“We are also working with other city agencies, including Streets and Sanitation, the CTA, the Department of Transportation and the state police and other agents in a multi-layered plan which will be based on lessons we’ve learned from earlier this summer,” Brown said.

Already Monday, the chaos led to several transportation and street closures that limited access both in and out of the city.Video taken in Chicago’s Gold Coast shows looters hitting a business and the aftermath of smashed windows and empty shelves.

The Chicago Transit Authority shut down all train and bus service downtown “at the request of public safety officials,” the CTA said.

The bridges over the Chicago River were lifted at around 4:30 a.m., preventing further entry into and exit from the downtown area.Looters swarmed a Walgreens store and Portillo’s in Chicago’s River North neighborhood early Monday.

Illinois State Police confirmed at around 5 a.m. that Chicago police asked for assistance in blocking all expressway ramps going in and out of the city’s Loop: from Cermak to I-55, I-94 from Roosevelt to Division and Congress Parkway from I-290.

At around 7:15 a.m., the city’s Office of Emergency Management & Communications tweeted that the CTA was restoring service and bridges and expressway ramps downtown would be opening as various street closures remained in effect around the Loop.

Illinois State Police also announced a series of ramp closures that will remain in effect “until further notice.”

Leave a Reply