Trucks stuck on viaduct: City`s paving project may be to blame - FOX 32 News Chicago

Trucks stuck on viaduct: City`s paving project may be to blame

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

If you like the sound of screeching metal, just plant yourself at 49th and Halsted. FOX 32 got a tip that a number of trucks have been hitting a bridge there and sure enough, look what we found that to be the case.

This is not how truck driver John Ell wanted to start his day.

"I rolled under the viaduct and I hear my trailer being peeled off," Ell says.

Peeled off and rolled up like the top of a sardine can. It happened when he hit an old bridge viaduct on Halsted just south of 49th Street.

"I know a lot of trucks get stuck under there" Ell says. "A lot of trucks."

Just ask tow truck driver Mike Nieminski who helped clean up the mess. He says he's been out to the area "more than 100 times."

In fact, this viaduct has always been a trouble spot for truckers. It is posted as having a 13 foot clearance--which is too low for some of the biggest rigs. We saw plenty backing up and turning around and those that make it do so by the thinnest of margins.

Some believe a brand new paving job on Halsted--which added bike lanes--may be to blame.

"From what we understand, we were truck number five this week," Bob Huff explains.

Bob Huff of Security Transport says his driver hit the bridge on Wednesday and watched as another truck hit it moments later. It didn't help that a city work crew was parked in front of the clearance sign blocking it from view.

Huff believes the re-paving of Halsted may have added an inch or two to the street, which may be causing all these accidents.

"I'd like to see somebody get out and at least warn the truckers before somebody runs into it," says Huff. "This wasn't a situation where somebody's going too fast or driving recklessly."

FOX 32's Dane Placko measured the viaduct and found it is a shade over 13 feet tall--just like the sign says. But, the bridge has been hit so many times that a large metal plate is peeling off and sticking out like a can opener. It's jammed with pieces of debris.

One trucker made a point of steering to the right to avoid it.

The bridge is in the 20th Ward. A spokesman for Alderman Willie Cochran had no comment. We also called the Chicago Department of Transportation, but at the time of this story being published, haven't yet heard back.

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