Precautionary measures being put in place along Lake Shore Drive due to rising lake levels

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CHICAGO — Rising lake levels are eroding the lakefront and making it dangerous to drive along Lake Michigan.

Precautionary measures are being put in place starting Thursday due to high lake levels at Lake Michigan.

On Wednesday, the lake was calm enough to paddle board, but it hasn’t been calm for much of the year, no matter the season. This year, the lake has flirted with record water levels — 15 inches higher in the last year alone.

“At O’Hare, we set a record for most rainfall in any month of May in 2018. That latest one year. We turned around and broke it again this year,” WGN meteorologist Mike Janssen said.

Over the summer, there were swimming bans put in place at city beaches. There were also high wave warnings and walking to running warnings. There were also times when the water was so high pylons in the lake were difficult to see.

When the waves get too high, it can be dangerous for motorists, and it doesn’t matter what season it is.

As a precautionary measure, concrete jersey barriers like the ones seen at construction sites, will be put up at nine areas to keep the waves off the drive. The project will start Thursday at 75th Street at 7 a.m. and move north. There will be one project at a time. Drivers can expect delays during those hours.

Those who take Lake Shore Drive regularly may have been caught in those high waves crashing across it.


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