CHICAGO — Illinois officials have completed reconstruction of the busy intersection of Interstate 55 and Lake Shore Drive in Chicago.

Transportation Secretary Randy Blankenhorn christened the $135 million project on Friday. It improves access to the McCormick Place convention center, the Chicago Museum Campus, the University of Chicago and other sites along Lake Michigan.

The project began in 2015. It involved rebuilding six bridges that comprise the elevated roads.

Blankenhorn says the project "immediately makes life easier" for commuters but the benefits will be felt far into the future. He called the interchange a key part of the state's transport system and a critical reason that Illinois is a U.S. transportation hub.

Traffic flow is improved with a second lane added to the ramps connecting Lake Shore Drive and outbound I-55.

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