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The northbound bike lane on Milwaukee between Erie and Chicago will be closed for the next two weeks. Credit: Alisa Hauser/Ecoglobalsociety

RIVER WEST —  A 0.4-mile stretch of bike lanes along Milwaukee Avenue in River West will be closed for the next month as city crews add concrete protection to the city's “busiest bike route,” the Chicago Department of Transportation announced Wednesday. 

“Please bear with us and share the travel lane,” CDOT tweeted. 

The existing lanes currently have bollards, or plastic poles, that buffer cyclists from cars. The enhancements are part of a Complete Streets project that will improve safety and comfort for users of the thoroughfare, officials said.

Starting Wednesday, the northbound bike lane of Milwaukee Avenue between Ohio Street and Chicago Avenue will be closed for approximately two weeks for construction of a new concrete curb-protected bike lane.

Following completion of the northbound improvements, the southbound bike lane will be closed for similar work for about two weeks.

People biking during the construction will be required to merge into the travel lane, CDOT officials said. 

“Motorists are required yield to people riding bikes at all times and should not attempt to pass bicyclists unless they can do so while giving bicyclists at least three feet of room and without exceeding the speed limit,” CDOT cautioned drivers in a news release.

In addition to the curb-protected bike lanes, the project will include pedestrian curb extensions, a pedestrian refuge island crossing Milwaukee at Erie, and a floating transit island at Carpenter for the southbound CTA bus.

A pedestrian refuge island is a concrete/raised island built halfway across a wide street where pedestrians can safely stand and wait for cars to pass, CDOT spokesman Michael Claffey said. 

Cyclists and motorists can follow CDOT for updates at @ChicagoDOT on Twitter. 

What the bike lanes look like before the concrete is installed. [CDOT] Credit: CDOT
A cyclist moves around the construction on Thursday. [Alisa Hauser/Ecoglobalsociety]

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