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County delays South Shore Drive project near Devil Track Lake

Cook County logo. WTIP file photo
Cook County logo. WTIP file photo

After weeks of battling rainy conditions, this week the Cook County Highway Department announced a delay in the reconstruction of South Shore Drive located near Devil Track Lake.

Cook County Highway Engineer Krysten Foster said the contractor encountered significantly more rain days than is reasonable to expect during a typical July through September.

According to Foster, the highway department considered the value of the work, weather and impacts to residents before deciding to delay paving.

“I can’t recommend placing $650,000 of blacktop over wet gravel,” Foster said. “The typical long-range forecast does not provide sufficient days to finish the dirt work and pave this road after it dries up.”

A secondary factor impacting the construction delay is the discovery of more poor soils than expected. Crews excavated approximately 15 percent more clay and peat than planned.

According to Foster, Cook County minimizes this risk by contracting a drilling rig to take sporadic soil samples in advance of construction projects.

KGM Contractors, the company under contract for the South Shore Drive reconstruction, will focus on getting the road prepared for winter in the coming weeks, Foster said. Additionally, Cook County will monitor the need for dust control next spring until South Shore Drive is paved.

WTIP’s Joe Friedrichs spoke with Foster about the delay on the South Shore Drive project.