Southbound Lake Shore Drive closed after buckling

July 5, 2010 (CHICAGO)

About a mile-long stretch of Lake Shore Drive was shut down Monday evening.

Southbound lanes between Roosevelt and I-55 will remain closed while crews repair the lanes.

Crews arrived on the scene between 9:00 and 9:15 p.m. to begin repairs. They were working on the first of three major trouble spots that surfaced early this evening across three lanes on southbound Lake Shore Drive between about 1900 South and the on-ramp for I-55.

Police said they got reports of the buckling in the roadway just after 6:00 p.m.

No one was injured as they drove over these trouble spots, and all four southbound lanes were promptly closed between Roosevent and the I-55 onramp.

The closure has caused major traffic backups. The Chicago Transit Authority had to reroute the buses that normally use southbound Lake Shore Drive.

Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT) spokesperson Brian Steele said the buckling was caused by heat and that while uncommon, this type of phenomenon is not unheard of.

"A couple times a year when we have long stretches of high temperatures and intense sunlight, the pavement does buckle," said Steele. "Like any material, it will deteriorate, and heat can really exacerbate the issue."

CDOT Commissioner Bobby Ware was at the scene of the buckling on Lake Shore Drive Monday night. He said the crews will hopefully finish repairs by 2:00 or 3:00 a.m. so the southbound lanes of Lake Shore Drive can reopen before the morning rush.

Ware said that these fixes will most likely be temporary and that some major reconstruction may have to happen in this area.

Ware also said that inspectors are going up and down the entire length of Lake Shore Drive to check for more trouble spots.

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