2 Investigators: Rusted Light Poles ‘Very Worrisome’

(CBS) — Lauren Lammy is nervous about the rusted light poles in her Old Town neighborhood.

Her car was smashed by one that also fell across LaSalle Street. Fortunately, she was not in the car when it happened.

“If that would have happened in rush hour, who knows what would have happened to someone else,” Lammy tells 2 Investigator Dave Savini.

The incident with her car happened in August 2016.  More than a year later, the 2 Investigators found more problem poles along the same stretch of road.

“That’s exactly how mine looked,” Lammy says of a distressed light pole.

Dangerous conditions exist in other neighborhoods, too. A pole fell on a teen last year as she headed to school in Hyde Park. Also in Hyde Park, the 2 Investigators found scores of rusted poles, many around the University of Chicago campus; Savini notified police.

Dr. Sammy Tin, a metallurgical expert from IIT, says many poles are in dire need of maintenance and repair.

“I see corrosion to different degrees,” Tin says.

Of one pole, he says: “This is very, very worrisome.”

In 2015, the 2 Investigators exposed hundreds of other city light poles with rusted out holes. The city made repairs then.

“They should definitely be out here checking,” Lammy says.

She says she reported the dangerous light poles to city. But nothing happened for nearly a year – and after the 2 Investigators began making inquiries.

Lammy says the damage to her car totaled $3,500, but she is not getting a penny from the city. The Chicago Department of Law said it does not have to pay because no one reported the pole was rusted out before it fell.

The Chicago Department of Transportation said as part a new program, it will be assessing every city light pole.

If you see a problem light pole, you should call 3-1-1 to report it.

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