Record High Lake Levels Causing Crumbling Infrastructure Could Mean Record High Need For Repairs – CBS Chicago
CHICAGO (CBS) — Record high lake levels could mean a record high need for repairs.
CBS 2 has been tracking receding beaches and cracks in infrastructure, and with water levels expected to be high all summer, those issues aren’t going anywhere.
Some of the lakefront trail and some Chicago beaches, piers and parks have been under water so long they’re covered with algae.
The water levels will be high for the rest of the summer, according to Molly Flanagan with the Alliance for the Great Lakes.
And the problems this creates, she said, won’t just dry up when the water does.
“That sustained wave action can cause damage to the infrastructure,” she said. “As you start to see that crumbling back into the lake, that is an expensive fix. It costs a lot to build that type of infrastructure. It costs a lot to repair.”
And the cracks CBS 2 found in Lake Shore Drive a month ago are still in disrepair.
“The lake is actually eroding away Lake Shore Drive and its undergrid right now,” said Ald. Brian Hopkins.
“Lake levels are cyclical, and we deal with them a best we can,” a Chicago Park District spokesperson said.
The spokesperson added that the district is working with the Army Corp of Engineers to find sustainable solutions.
A Chicago Department of Transportation spokesperson said CDOT is working with the Army Corps of Engineers on sea wall projects and more.
But neither addressed what is crumbling.
A CDOT spokesperson said weather has delayed a fix of the cracks on Lake Shore Drive. Hopkins said repairs are scheduled for this week.