CHICAGO (CBS) — Early snow and bitter cold caught some by surprise – and apparently, Chicago city government is no exception.
As CBS 2’s Charlie De Mar reported, some sidewalks on overpasses across the Kennedy Expressway in the West Loop are covered with thick layers of ice and have not been hit by a shovel or road salt.
The sidewalks on the overpasses are not in front of any homes or businesses, and thus are the city’s responsibility.
“Slip and slide every day,” one man said. You literally have to walk in the middle of the road just to be safe and not fall.”
Our cameras caught people gingerly taking baby steps – inching across the icy bridge across the Kennedy on Adams Street. Others were grasping onto the red railing, and others shuffled and scooted across for the evening commute.
“I can’t tell you how many times I almost fell walking to work,” said Steven Smith.
There were countless near-slips. A mom with a stroller was even seen looking down to navigate the ice covered sidewalks along the expressway overpasses.
“This is the worst part my walk,” said Tyler Etcheberry. “It’s obviously very slippery and dangerous.”
“It’s treacherous,” added Caruso. “It’s not if somebody falls, it’s when they fall.”
“Number one, I’m hoping I don’t fall and somebody sees me. Number two, I hope I don’t get hurt. Number three, why we don’t have salt down?” Smith said from the also-treacherous Fulton Market overpass.
The question of why there is no salt down is one for the Chicago Department of Transportation.
It is not a question for the Department of Streets and Sanitation, who we saw pull up near an iced-over overpass, but then take off a short time later.
De Mar asked Smith what he would say to the city, knowing the icy overpass sidewalks are its responsibility.
“They need to do their job,” Smith said. “It’s dangerous walking to work. I’m just trying to go to work and I got to walk on ice.”
“It’s timely. Get on it. It’s been like this for what, three days now,” Caruso said.
Ald. Brendan Reilly (42nd) took to Twitter saying he talked to CDOT, reminding them that the icy commuter sidewalks are the city’s responsibility.
“I think a little salt would go a long way,” Etcheberry said.
“I think more should be done about it to make sure it’s safer as people get to and from work and back to the train, and wherever they are coming from each day,” the first man added.
A spokesman for CDOT cited the abnormal cold and early snowfall, and said they would send crews out to address it as soon as possible. As of 10 p.m., De Mar and his team had not seen any.