Worker Killed When 187-foot I-Beam Falls Near O'Hare

April 5, 2016

A construction worker was killed and three others were hurt after a 45-ton, 187-foot-long overpass steel beam fell along I-90 over Touhy Avenue in northwest suburban Des Plaines.

Four people working on the Jane Addams Memorial Tollway reconstruction project were in lifts on Touhy Avenue early Tuesday morning while removing the bridge beams. Police said around 3:30 a.m. a crane holding one of the beams failed and the beam fell.

"They were moving some steel across the roadway. Apparently the load shifted, the girder came down. It's 187 feet long, 45 tons of steel that came down. Three workers were injured. One is confirmed as a fatality," said Bill Kushner, Des Plaines police.

One construction worker, age 45, was rushed in critical condition to Advocate Lutheran General Hospital in Park Ridge, where police said he died. Three others suffered minor injuries and are being treated at Lutheran General and Northwest Community Hospital in Arlington Heights.

OSHA is investigating.

The construction is part of the $2.5 billion I-90 Rebuilding and Widening Project between Elgin and I-294. The eastern portion of I-90 is being rebuilt to provide four lanes in each direction between Randall Road and I-294, according to the Illinois Tollway.The project requires the reconstruction of I-90 bridges over local roads between Illinois Route 53 and I-294, including Golf Road, Arlington Heights Road, Busse Road, Oakton Street, Mount Prospect Road, Wolf Road, Touhy Avenue, Mannheim Road and Higgins Road in Rosemont.

Source: I-DOT; Reuters