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NB Lake Shore Drive remains closed for bridge repairs, officials hope to reopen Tuesday evening

By Cate Cauguiran, ABC7 News

Crews continue to work on a portion of Lake Shore Drive that remains closed Tuesday morning because of cracks found in support beams.

Crews first spotted the cracks around 10 a.m. Monday beneath northbound Lake Shore Drive just south of Chicago River that forced crews to shut down northbound traffic between Jackson and Grand.

“We think that this cracking was caused by a combination of corrosion coupled with the extreme temperature swings and recent weather,” said CDOT Commissioner Rebekah Scheinfeld.

The shutdown turned Monday’s evening commute into gridlock. CDOT crews are working to build a temporary support tower as crews work on a more permanent fix. CDOT said those permanent repairs could take several weeks.

Closures are expected to last into Tuesday night’s commute, possible longer.

Traffic will be able to use the Randolph/Wacker exit to access Randolph/Wacker, and can also access northbound Lake Shore Drive using Lower Lake Shore Drive across the river. Eastbound Randolph will remain closed between Columbus and Lake Shore Drive.

Southbound Lake Shore Drive has not been affected. The southbound bridge is not connected to the beams that support the northbound lanes.

Drivers should use I-90/94 as an alternate.

Drivers in the downtown area can access the northbound drive if they take Lower Wacker Drive to the Grand Avenue entrance ramp. Drivers heading north from farther south should follow signs posted at 43rd Street and 35th Street telling drivers to take I-55 to I-90/94. Signs posted at 23rd Street will instruct drivers to exit at Columbus Drive.

According to the Illinois Department of Transportation’s website, the bridge was last inspected on June 29, 2017 and found to be in fair or satisfactory conditions. The report does note that inspectors found some minor cracks and deterioration. Scheinfeld said the bridge is inspected every two years, as per federal standards, and was due for re-inspection in June of this year.

This article originally appeared on ABC 7 News.

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