Monday, March 6, 2017

Chicago Tribune: "Chicago's Bridges Are Falling Down"

"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)

"Mary Wisniewski
 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.


  1. I only hope there is not a catastrophic failure of one or both of these bridges before something is done about them. Should such a failure occur, and can just hear the blame accusing and deflecting now.

  2. How is it that South Lake Shore glamorously maintained, and recently added a brand new expensive suspension bridge just south of 31st St. bridge? North Lake Shore Dr. bridges are extremely dangerous and life threatening for both vehicular traffic above and pedestrians below including children going to Lincoln Park and the beaches. We are waiting for a horrific accident as cars will be crashing down along with the crumbling concrete bridges. Where are our elected officials???

  3. the bridges have been in disrepair for some time now. I certainly wish no harm on anyone, but it's a good thing to get the illegal drug selling tent denizens out of there.

  4. Those of you who have been around Uptown for awhile may recall Shiller supporters complaining about "the blogs" while saying "Why don't you blog about it".

    Apparently blogging about it has had an effect on people taking notice of the bridge problem. Congrats Uptown Update. Your hard work does not go unnoticed.

    It may be unappreciated by some. To those whiners I can only say "thppppppt".

    Somewhere a certain silver haired twerker will spill his coffee when he reads this. If only he could harness the power of his booty to provide electricity for the Cornerstone properties. Think of it as an "in kind" donation.