|"A big chunk of concrete lies on the ground where it fell off from the top of the bridge at Wilson Avenue and Lake Shore Drive in Chicago on March 2, 2017. (Tribune photo/Nancy Stone)"|
|The encampments under Lawrence Avenue (Nancy Stone, Chicago Tribune)|
|A bus passes over the Lawrence (Nancy Stone, Chicago Tribune)|
Under Lake Shore Drive at Lawrence and Wilson avenues, the sky is falling.
Chunks of concrete have broken off the two 1933-vintage bridges, posing a threat to drivers, pedestrians and the dozens of homeless people who camp underneath. Pieces more than 6 inches wide litter the sidewalks. Lattices of rusty rebar are exposed where parts of the wall have broken away.
"The bridge is falling apart real bad," said Thomas Gordon, 58, who lives in a tent on Lawrence. He said he thinks this winter's heavy rains have sped up the deterioration, and people are moving their tents from the worst spots. "We don't want no one to get hurt down here."
The bridges at Lawrence and Wilson are among the most-traveled structurally deficient bridges in Illinois, according to a recent study by the American Road & Transportation Builders Association, a Washington-based trade group which used Federal Highway Administration figures. Nine of the top 10 are in the Chicago area. Continue Reading"
UU Note: Later in the story, it says, "the city's transportation department plans repairs to the bridges at Wilson and Lawrence this summer, including structural repair of the concrete, said spokesman Mike Claffey. He said work would take about six to eight months, and the tent community would have to move before it starts."
We've heard this before, many times, as long as this blog has been in existence. (See list here.) Will repairs finally happen this time? Time will tell.