CHICAGO (CBS) — Cracks have been appearing in homes on the Far South Side, and homeowners believe increased truck traffic on recently expanded Torrence Avenue might be to blame.
“I Patch it, and it keeps cracking again, and again, and again,” said Hegewisch resident Khalidon Alhasin.
Homes age over time, but several Hegewisch neighbors said the cracks in their ceilings and walls, and buckling of concrete garage floors are being caused by something else.
“All my house is shaking,” Alhasin said.
Homeowners said living in the shadow of the nearby Ford plant on Torrence Avenue has had no impact on their homes over the last several decades.
In 2014, to accommodate heavier traffic flow, Torrence Avenue was widened to the edge of their alley with a massive wall built as a sound barrier. That’s when the problems started.
“We’ve got trucks bouncing down this way,” Bernard Ralich said.
He and other neighbors said the vibrations from 18-wheelers passing by create tremors they can feel in their homes throughout the day.
“I want them to do what they got to do, so we stop bouncing,” Ralich said.
Ralich has organized his neighbors and reached out to the city. During roadway expansion, contractors paid families up to $7,000 each to make repairs, but problems have persisted.
Ald. Susan Sadlowski Garza (10th) said she recognizes the residents have valid concerns, but short of moving Torrence Avenue, which is a major thoroughfare to the Ford plant, and a nearby port on the Calumet River, there is not much that can be done.
City officials have stepped in to solve issues regarding proximity to industry; for example, installing soundproof windows near O’Hare and Midway airports.
However, the fix on Saginaw Avenue isn’t as easy, leaving neighbors on shaky ground. Neighbors said Hegewisch was once a marsh, and the softer land in the area could be contributing to their problems.