Collapsed Storm Drain Blamed for Ike Flooding

Flash flooding closed expressway for six hours Tuesday

The Illinois Department of Transportation plans to make emergency repairs to a portion of the Eisenhower Expressway in an attempt to prevent flash flooding that closed the highway for six hours Tuesday.

A powerful storm dumped several inches of rain in a short amount of time, forcing state police to close I-290 between 17th and 25th avenues. IDOT officials said the drains were unable to take in water fast enough.

After inspecting the inlets and drains underneath 25th Avenue Wednesday, officials determined a collapsed storm drain was to blame for the extensive flooding.

Crews will begin fixing the drain Thursday morning at 7 a.m. The southbound 25th Avenue ramp will be closed while the repairs are made, but should reopen later in the day.

Flooding on area expressways is nothing new. Last year, heavy rains stranded drivers and forced a shutdown of the Edens Expressway.

But frustrated drivers insist that sort of thing shouldn't happen, even in heavy rains.

"With the size of the city, I wouldn't expect that ... not here," driver Jose Gonzalez said.

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