CHICAGO (CBS) — A half-mile stretch of Irving Park Road near O’Hare International Airport has been closed to all traffic after truckers repeatedly ignored warnings about a low bridge, and crashed into a railroad overpass.

Cars were supposed to be able to go through Irving Park Road at York Road in Bensenville while work continued on a railroad bridge above, to eliminate a grade-level crossing that caused major delays at the southwest corner of O’Hare.

However, when the bridge was lowered onto its supports over the weekend, the clearance was only 12 feet 6 inches, too low for most cargo trucks and semis, so trucks were supposed to take detour.

However, Illinois Department of Transportation engineer Tony Quigley said during the first two hours of that truck detour, “one truck westbound actually got wedged underneath the bridge. The two trucks eastbound; one scraped its way under the bridge, the other one turned around.”

“It was truckers ignoring the signs that were in place,” Quigley said.

That wasn’t the end of it. Another truck scraped under the bridge Sunday night. On Monday, two trucks got stuck while trains were headed toward Irving Park Road, and the trains had to be stopped, as the bridge is not ready for trains to use yet, and they are still running at grade level.

“We actually had a railroad flagger out there, and the railroad flagger called to the train engineer, and notified them that the tracks were blocked,” Quigley said.

Now, the state has closed a half-mile stretch of Irving Park Road, from York Road to the South Access Road to O’Hare for the next four months, while crews finish work on the new bridge. That work includes lowering Irving Park Road a foot-and-a-half, so the overpass will have a 14-foot clearance, high enough for trucks to safely go under the bridge.

South Access Road will remain open to cargo deliveries to O’Hare, accessible through two detours, while Irving Park is closed:

  • Eastbound traffic on Irving Park will turn north on York Road/Elmhurst Road, then east on Touhy Avenue and Higgins Road, and south on Mannheim Road.
  • Westbound traffic will turn north on Mannheim Road, west on Higgins Road and Touhy Avenue, and south on York Road/Elmhurst Road.

For more information on the detour route, visit www.idot.illinois.gov/projects/il19-at-york-rd.