CHICAGO (CBS) — All lanes of Interstate 80/94 were shut down for more than four hours Wednesday, after power lines fell across the expressway during the morning rush. The interstate reopened to traffic early Wednesday afternoon.
Indiana State Police said the power lines came down on I-80/94 at Chase Street around 8:30 a.m., blocking traffic in both directions. NIPSCO crews were called in to shut off power and remove the cables from the roadway.
The Indiana Department of Transportation said the interstate reopened to traffic by about 12:45 p.m., but drivers were advised to avoid the expressway until the earlier congestion cleared.
NIPSCO said the power lines came down when an insulator, where power lines connect with a transformer, broke due to the weather, causing a power cable to hang lower than normal over the interstate. A passing semi-trailer truck hit that line, pulling a utility pole and wire onto the road.
One witness told WBBM Newsradio what he saw.
“The transformers on the side of the expressway began to explode in a sequential manner, and after two of them exploded, then the power lines that go across the expressway all fell,” he said.
NIPSCO said crews would replace the pole on another day, when they can set up a safe work zone.