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2 Investigators: More Unstable Bus Shelters

(CBS) – The 2 Investigators have exposed more broken and corroded bus shelters.

These potential dangers were found just months after the city of Chicago was ordered to pay $148 million to a young woman left paralyzed when an O'Hare Airport bus shelter fell on top of her.

These latest bus shelters in need of repair were found with corrosion and broken parts, worrying some customers.

"Somebody could be seriously hurt from this," CTA rider Holly McGuire tells 2 Investigator Dave Savini.

The 2 Investigators found them all over the city. Some are missing bolts or brackets needed to secure the shelter and so that glass doesn't shatter or fall on people.

"On no, that's dangerous. That's truly dangerous," CTA rider Mayne Miller says.

CBS 2 obtained 3-1-1 calls since 2015 about bus shelters and found there have been more than 1,100 for various kinds of broken glass complaints.

Then there's a shelter the 2 Investigators found at Gage Park that is missing a bolt and is so loose it moves with little pressure. In fact, there is no hole in the cement for where the bolt should be.

At Midway Airport, more potential problems with a bus shelter. There is rust on every bolt, and the corrosion process has already started -- a clear warning sign that preventive maintenance is needed before things get worse and before anyone else gets hurt.

Sammy Tin, a metallurgist with the Illinois Institute of Technololgy, looked at the shelter.

"Seeing localized corrosion to this extent can be bad," Tin says.

He was surprised to see this, given just three months ago the city was on the losing end of a $148 million verdict after failing to maintain numerous O'Hare Airport bus shelters, including the one that fell on Tierney Darden, shattering her spinal cord.

Tin says without repair, the shelter could pose a future fall danger.

2 Investigators obtained Department of Aviation inspection records for this year which say the "shelter is in good condition" and "There are no other safety/liability issues."

Tin says rust should be removed and the metal painted to seal it from moisture and salt.

"I would have thought they'd learned their lessons," he says.

Tin also looked at the broken and corroded clamps the 2 Investigators found on numerous CTA shelters.

"If they would have installed these clamps properly, we should not see failures like that," Tin says.

The aluminum clamps corroded prematurely because galvanized steel bolts were used to secure them -- a bad combination of metal causing galvanic corrosion – he says.

"I think there needs to be more oversight and inspections," Tin says.

Depending on location, Chicago bus shelters are maintained by different agencies and a private company, too.

The 2 Investigators contacted the CTA about the Gage Park shelter. They fixed it Wednesday and said it was not a danger.

The Aviation Department says the Midway shelter was inspected again last week and believes it is structurally sound.

The shelters with the glass and clamp problems fall under the Chicago Department of Transportation, which says it is looking into the issue with JC Decaux, the company contracted to maintain them. The company says it inspects each one annually and promptly investigates every 3-1-1 complaint.

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