CHICAGO (CBS) — Sides of homes in Little Village are crumbling to the ground. Homeowners are convinced that the trucking company across the street is to blame for the collapsed walls, falling bricks, and cracked foundations.
The alderman, however, claims the houses are crumbling because they are old.
The Little Village residents say the rumbling is coming from JB Hunt, located across the street near Ogden and Kenneth.
Since JB Hunt moved into the area a few years ago, trucks come and go all day; but it is the offloading – the dropping of the big trailers from a lift – that is upsetting neighbors.
Last week, the bricks and siding of Sharon Armstrong’s 100-year-old brick house came tumbling down.
When asked if she thinks it is happening from across the street, she replied, “Yeah, it’s the shaking of my foundation and all the stuff just dropped.”
Ramond Taylor says his foundation is cracking, as well, claiming he has found more and more cracks that he knows were not there before.
Joyce Austin is experiencing a similar problem.
“They are tearing up everything,” Austin said. “The vibration has caused cracks all the way out to the alley.” She said it is also affecting her walls and her basement.
Neighbors say city officials are telling them their houses are just old.
“Even if the homes are older, cracks don’t appear overnight,” said Taylor.
Austin said, “I’ve been here all my life, since I was two years old. Never has this building ever been this cracked up before.”
Structural experts looked at the damage.
“I would say this is some fairly recent cracking,” stated Chris Heintz, the co-owner of Atlas Restoration LLC. “The foundation of the house is sitting on soils. If those soils shift, everything that is sitting on top of it is going to shift with it.”
“The next step would be an investigation or study,” said Terry McDonald, a structural engineer at Klein and Hoffman. “Vibration monitors can be established. Crack gauges to monitor if cracks are getting bigger.”
Neighbors say they want an answer and a solution to the problem.
“The starting range is $10,000 and it can get all the way up to $100,000 to permanently support a house that’s shifted,” said Heintz.
“Who is going to pay for that? We should not have to pay for that,” said one resident.
Alderman Ricardo Munoz responded to inquiries, stating, “I’ve had inspectors out there and I don’t know.”
Munoz said the city’s building department visited the site for an inspection and a study to check out the neighbors’ concern.
CBS 2’s Audrina Bigos called to verify and get a copy of the study, but was told the building department could not find one.
JB Hunt has not returned any calls or emails on this matter.