Inspectors cleared cracked section of Lake Shore Drive in 2017, found trouble elsewhere

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CHICAGO – A crack in a steal beam in the structure of Lake Shore Drive prompted a shutdown of lanes Monday.  It also prompted WGN Investigate to look into the bridge inspection reports for that section of the road.

The bridge was built in 1986 and was last inspected a year-and-a-half ago.  Inspectors found the deck and superstructure to be in “fair to satisfactory” condition.  Only “minor deterioration and cracks” were noted.

Crews found a different scene Monday when a steel support cracked so severely the pavement above it shifted.

The reports also showed state engineers are more worried about another bridge nearby – the bridge overpass at Randolph Street, just south of the river.

Inspectors concluded  the bridge over the Chicago River is in far worse shape.

In 2018, IDOT found the deck and superstructure to be in “serious condition” with “significant section loss.”  The structural evaluation was “intolerable.” Inspectors said it should be a “high priority for correction.”

While these inspection results may surprise you,  a Federal Highway Administration report found Illinois has 2,243 structurally deficient bridges, a little more than 8 percent of all bridges in the state.

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