A section of one of the busiest exit routes in the city has partially reopened, after a crane toppled onto the Lake Shore near Ellis Ave. around 11:30am Tuesday. Part of the huge device hung ominously over the road, blocking all westbound traffic for hours.
Officials say the crane was lifting an item at a construction site when the soil beneath it gave way, possibly weakened by days of heavy rain. It toppled over, leaving a mess in its wake.
"A boom truck with a crane attached to it was in the process of moving an elevator box through the construction site and ended up toppling over with the boom coming to rest across the westbound lanes of Lake Shore Blvd. W.," explains Sgt. Tim Burrows.
The crane hit several power lines, knocking out power to the lamposts but not the traffic lights.
Police had originally warned drivers it might be closed right through the afternoon rush, but the clean-up went better than hoped and cops were able to open two of the westbound lanes by about 3pm to allow some traffic to get through.
Fortunately, no one was hurt in the incident, something Burrows admits is a lucky break. "It's amazing that nobody was injured as there always is traffic flow across this section," he concludes.