Montrose Street Collapse

A section of Montrose near Wellington collapsed into itself. My friend Scott Sexton sent me an e-mail detailing his encounter with it during his morning commute:

The street is covered in mud, water and snow. Clearly a water main has broken. Shopkeepers are shoveling the debris off their walks. I get up to the next intersection. There are bulldozers and backhoes and more cops and CTA personnel. One of the lamp posts on the side of the street looks like it has sunk into the ground, but I really can’t see what’s happening. The L station appears to be open, however, but we can’t get to it. The cops route us up a block, through an alley, and then back down toward the station under the tracks. I pass the Beans n Bagels coffee shop and the floor is caked with mud and water. Crossing the street in front of a WGN news crew, I get to the L station. There are fans positioned everywhere trying to dry the soaked floor. It isn’t until I climb the stairs up to the platform that I can see exactly how bad the damage is. The earth has been literally washed away. Under the concrete, water is still gushing from the jagged end of a giant pipe. Montrose is dead.

He also took pictures from his camera phone:



Edit: My friend Gena has a great flickr set of the sinkhole as well.

3 Comments so far

  1. Pisipati Sriram (unregistered) on January 23rd, 2008 @ 11:04 am

    Sharp pictures and the accompanying write-up about the Montrose street collapse by Bryan Bowden. What is appreciable is the prompt public concern about the mishap, during the morning commute time. When I compare this with the city in which I live in South India, I wish such public awareness would make life a little more comfortable to the townsmen.

    We live in the southern Indian city of Hyderabad. Bad city roads – sometimes surface peeled off leaving depressions, gravel and sharp stones projecting, road edges broken, absence of sideways, uneven approach roads leading to flyovers and road obstructions everywhere etc are part and parcel of everyday life.

    Though the provincial authorities try to rectify and repair the roads, the problems recur due to heavy vehicular traffic and pedestrian movement. In a city with 67 lakh population, there are about 22 lakh two-wheelers, autos, transport vehicles, cars, metro buses plying on the roads, it is very difficult to maintain city roads, if not impossible. Vehicles move at 20 kmph and added to it one faces frequent traffic gridlocks.

    I was wondering how a foreigner feels when moving on roads of this kind. Greater public awareness holds the key for city-specific problems, I feel.

  2. Dan Telfer (unregistered) on January 23rd, 2008 @ 12:16 pm

    Great stuff Bryan (and Gena and Scott).

  3. Bryan Bowden (unregistered) on January 23rd, 2008 @ 8:18 pm

    wow. It’s pretty interesting to hear how things are in India. Thanks for that.

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