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Route 45 reopens near Libertyville after retaining wall collapses.

Byline: Mick Zawislak

Route 45 reopens near Libertyville after retaining wall collapses

Busy Route 45 between Peterson Road and Route 137 in unincorporated Lake County near Libertyville reopened about 7 p.m. Tuesday after it was closed in both directions Monday afternoon when a 20-foot-high embankment retaining wall began to collapse.

The road was closed about 2:20 p.m. Monday after a passing driver called the sheriff's office to report the concrete retaining wall on northbound Route 45 appeared to be leaning, said Lake County sheriff's office spokesman Sgt. Christopher Covelli.

Traffic was rerouted, but there has been a major impact in the area. Route 45 carries 28,700 vehicles per day on that stretch, according to the Illinois Department of Transportation.

Sheriff's deputies confirmed it presented a safety hazard and the road was closed. The wall fully collapsed onto the pavement around midnight, Covelli said.

"We believe that weather played a part, but the root cause is still under investigation," said Meg Thomas-Reile, public relations manager for Metra, the suburban rail agency that owns the retaining wall, which is 63 feet wide and 20 feet high.

The village received 1.75 inches of rain Saturday night, followed by 2.5 inches of rain Sunday night into Monday morning, said Paul Kendzior, public works director. Street and yard flooding was reported in various locations but had drained by Tuesday morning, he said.

A bridge nearby carries Milwaukee North trains; they were stopped for a time and commuters were bused between the Prairie Crossing and downtown station. A track and bridge inspector did a thorough examination Monday night before trains were allowed to proceed at reduced speeds over the bridge, Thomas-Reile said.

Metra police were on the scene until at least midnight, and a company set up full-scale barricade and detour signs, Kendzior said.

Early Tuesday afternoon, concrete "Jersey barriers" were put in place along that section of road and Metra was working with contractors on a more comprehensive solution, according to Thomas-Reile.

The agency has engaged a firm to design a new retaining wall and once ready, construction will begin on a replacement. Thomas-Reile said there was no timeline but Metra was proceeding as quickly as possible.

Check Lake County PASSAGE at for updated road information.

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Publication:Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL)
Date:Sep 5, 2018
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