Watch CBS News

Concrete Is Ripped Up Along Lakefront Ledge On Near North Side, Endangering Runners And Cyclists; Who Is Supposed To Fix It?

CHICAGO (CBS) -- A huge hazard has developed along the lakefront that runners and bicyclists might not see coming.

Chunks of concrete are torn out of the popular Lakefront Trail, leaving metal rebar exposed. CBS 2 Political Investigator Dana Kozlov pushed for answers Wednesday about who is supposed to be repairing it.

After hours of calls and emails to various city departments, Kozlov did confirm the area where the damage was found – the Lakefront Ledge south of North Avenue Beach on the Near North Side – is the responsibility of the Chicago Park District.

Last summer, the area was fenced off to foot and bike traffic for safety reasons. It's not anymore, but many who were out on it Wednesday agreed that large sections of the ledge are almost treacherous.

And with this being spring, droves of people could soon be hitting the lakefront – and they could also end up hitting the pavement, literally.

"I definitely wouldn't want to bring my child down here, because I could only imagine him tripping and falling," said Brittany Yeldell.

Yeldell is a first-time visitor to the lakefront and to Chicago. The chunks of concrete and holes – some down to the metal rebar – concern her.

It also concerns some locals.

"Either block it off or at least – I know it's going to cost money, but at the end of the day, it needs to be done," a man said. "It's becoming a bit of a hazard."

The stretch of ledge between Chicago and North avenues is particularly beaten up. High lake levels over the past couple of years have certainly pummeled the lakefront, making things even worse.

But once the weather warms up, it will take an even bigger beating – with all the foot traffic, and bike traffic too.

"When it gets hot outside, it's going to be a lot of people out here, and this is not safe for a lot of people at one period of time," Yeldell said.

Chicago Park District Communications Director Michele Lemons said winter conditions also make the Lakefront Ledge, and any area along the lake, worse. As to when it will get fixed, Lemons said Park District employees are getting ready to get out, assess the damage, and determine what needs to be done – which means as it stands now, there is no timetable for repairs.

Thursday morning, Chicago Park District crews set up barricades on the damaged trail to warn walkers, runners, and cyclists of the potential hazards on the path.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.