Chicago Weather: Chicago Skyway re-opens after wind concerns

CHICAGO (WLS) -- The Chicago Skyway has re-opened after being closed in both directions earlier Thursday between 91st and 106th streets to keep drivers safe from blowing construction debris.

Sustained winds of 20-30 mph are blowing through the Chicago area on Thursday, with gusts of 45-55 mph. A Wind Advisory for the Chicago area expired at 6 p.m.


Around 2:30 a.m., some metal fabricated roofing started peeling off and shredding in a construction zone on the Skyway bridge, causing it to hang over all lanes of traffic. Other construction debris was also tossed across the road, creating hazardous driving conditions. The Skyway bridge re-opened around 2:30 p.m. Thursday.

A High Wind Warning remains in effect until 9 p.m. Thursday for La Porte and Starke counties in Indiana and Berrien County in Michigan.

Long tractor trailers and other high-profile trucks are banned from the Indiana Toll Road due to the wind until 7 p.m. Thursday. All other vehicles are permitted.

Strong winds are responsible for other damage throughout the area, including a smashed traffic light, damaged construction barricades and cars. There are also trees down throughout the city. Chicago Streets and Sanitation crews have been working since early Thursday morning to clear trees from the streets.

"Your concern is always trees that could possibly fall and block traffic - or even worse, fall on someone's house," said Charles Williams, Streets and Sanitation Commissioner.

Construction cranes that dot the skyline are unsafe to operate in these conditions and stood still Thursday, and residents of some city high rises are getting a moving experience - literally.

"Winds will create an effect and they will feel it on the higher floors. It's not uncommon that you will have a meter sway in each direction," said Professor Farhad Ansari, University of Illinois at Chicago.

The wind and colder temperatures are causing many people to bundle up. But Beverly Serrell says she's ready for winter.

"It's good! More time for outdoor winter sports," she said.

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