Updated 11/12/15 – 2:43 p.m.
CHICAGO (CBS) — The Chicago Skyway reopened Thursday afternoon, after it was shut down for about 12 hours when whipping winds sheared off metal roofing material on a bridge over the Calumet River.
Skyway officials closed the elevated tollway between 91st and 106th Streets around 2:20 a.m. Thursday, after several metal sheets on the top of the Calumet River bridge were blown loose by gusting winds, leaving them swaying over the roadway, and creating a hazard for passing motorists.
The metal sheeting was being used by a contractor who was painting part of the bridge. It had been secured by cables that snapped during intense winds overnight. Gusts of up to 50 mph were measured in Chicago late Wednesday and early Thursday.
The metal sheeting had been resecured, and the Skyway was reopened to traffic around 2:30 p.m.
The temporary closure on the Skyway created traffic headaches on the Far South Side and in northwest Indiana, including for some drivers who didn’t know how to navigate side streets to get where they were going after they were forced off the tollway.
The Keiser family was trying to make it home to Michigan when they were forced off the Skyway early Thursday due to the wind.
“It’s not the wind. I mean, we’re fine, but obviously the wind is causing trouble, so it would be nice if there were some directions. You know, I’d like to talk to those policemen back there and say ‘What do you expect us to do? How do we go east?’” Barbara Keiser said.
The gusting winds also prompted authorities in Indiana to ban many large trucks from the Indiana Toll Road, because they’re at risk of tipping over. The ban is in effect until 7 p.m. Eastern Time on Thursday.
“This wind ban is in effect for all triple tractor-trailers, long-doubles (high-profile only), & high-profile oversize permit loads. All other vehicles are permitted,” the Indiana Toll Road said in a post on its Facebook page.