Falling Concrete from Lake Shore Drive Closes Ramps

Bridge given "satisfactory" rating by state officials after December 2012 inspection

By BJ Lutz and Katy Smyser
|  Tuesday, Sep 3, 2013  |  Updated 10:14 PM CDT
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Concrete debris fell onto the ramp from North Ave. to Lake Shore Drive. Natalie Martinez reports.

Concrete debris fell onto the ramp from North Ave. to Lake Shore Drive. Natalie Martinez reports.

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Officials from the Chicago Department of Transportation on Tuesday were investigating the structural integrity of a Lake Shore Drive overpass spanning West LaSalle Drive after concrete fell to the roadway during the evening commute.

Traffic on Lake Shore Drive was not affected, but access to it via West LaSalle Drive was prohibited. Additionally, commuters on Lake Shore Drive were unable to use the North Avenue exit.

The pieces of concrete, which fell at about 4 p.m., spanned approximately three lanes of the roadway. No injuries were reported and officials said no vehicles were damaged in the collapse.

Delays were building from Oak Street to Fullerton Avenue during the evening commute.

The overpass, constructed in the 1930s, was last inspected by officials from the Illinois Department of Transportation in December 2012 and given a "satisfactory" rating, though minor deterioration was noted.

Eight years earlier, the overpass was one of 46 bridges considered "structurally deficient" by the federal government. In late 2006, CivilTech Engineering Inc., an Itasca-based construction company with hundreds of road construction contracts with the city, received a two-year contract totaling $604,512 for "Professional Design Engineering Services Lake Shore Drive Viaduct over LaSalle Drive."

That work was done in 2007.

CivilTech Engineering was awarded another contract -- stretching from July 12, 2010 to December 31, 2015 -- for a "reconstruction" project.

The company maintains details of that project on its website at CivilTechInc.com.

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