Traffic flow is much improved at 71st Street and Yale Avenue following a major widening project that began in 1983 and was completed in 1984. The project, which was funded by the 1980 sales tax, featured many closures during construction, with 71st Street being closed first for excavation and a major storm sewer installation between Yale and Richmond avenues (to the west). This was followed by a six-week closure of the intersection for excavation and partial paving, which eventually resulted in the southwest quadrant being opened on temporary lanes (except for the concrete portion of the intersection). The eastbound lanes on the east approach were paved with concrete, and they opened in January 1984, which concided with the return of a temporary traffic signal to the intersection. At that time, crews closed Yale Avenue between 66th and 71st streets for a bridge project and major dirt fill job that reduced the grade on a hill in that section. The intersection reopened for all four directions in April 1984, and the project was completed in the summer of 1984. The new intersection has four lanes on each approach with left-and right-turn lanes, including a dual left-turn lane for southbound traffic. Yale Avenue is four lanes with a left-turn median between 66th and 71st streets. The medians on 71st Street are wider than most, as these medians will be reduced when 71st Street eventually is widened to six lanes in the area, a project which has yet to be funded. Photo taken August 1984.
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