Sewer Line

A worker from the Chicago Department of Water Management surveys ongoing repairs of a collapsed 72 inch sewer line at the intersection of 57th Street and Harper Avenue on Tuesday, Nov. 1, 2022.

57th Street is closed to all vehicle traffic from Blackstone to Harper Avenues as crews repair a collapsed sewer line, according to the Chicago Department of Water Management.

The closure commenced on Monday, Oct. 31 as Water Department crews dug a pit more than 12 feet deep into the newly repaved intersection of Harper Avenue and 57th Street.

Now an open sewer in the middle of 57th Street, repairs are expected to be complete by Wednesday, Nov. 2. The street is expected to reopen to vehicle traffic by Thursday, said Water Department spokesperson Megan Vidas.

According to Vidas, the department was alerted of the collapsed 72 inch wide sewer line about two weeks ago.

The collapse comes more than a month after the Chicago Department of Transportation wrapped an expansive road repaving project on 57th Street, stretching from Drexel to Stony Island Avenues. CDOT's work was completed by the end of August, according to Transportation department spokesperson Erica Schroeder.

Asked if the sewer damage occurred during the road repaving, Vidas wrote in an email: "This sewer dates from 1890 so it could be a variety of issues. The Department of Water Management proactively replaces miles of water and sewer mains every year in an effort to promote efficiency and reliability in the system."

The Chicago Department of Transportation did not respond to requests for comment on the damage.

Though repairs are expected to last only a few days, neighboring shops report that the sudden lack of street parking and absence of communication from the city has negatively impacted business.

At 57th Street Beauty Salon, 1444 E. 57th St., owner Olu Adewole said the parking issue is causing three to four customers per day to cancel appointments  an estimated daily loss of $150 to $180 in revenue.

Adewole said that no one from the city warned them that the project was going to begin, nor has she been told how long construction will take.

"We don't have any clue," Adewole said. "I don't know what to do."

Staff writer Aaron Gettinger contributed.

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