Construction worker killed by falling 45-ton steel beam near Chicago

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A construction worker was killed and three others were hurt after a 45-ton bridge beam fell along I-90 over Touhy Avenue in Des Plaines. (WLS)

A construction worker was killed and three others were hurt after a 45-ton bridge 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 early Tuesday morning, removing the bridge beams. Police said around 3:30 a.m., a crane holding one of the beams failed and caused the beam to fall down onto them.

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

"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 was just confirmed as a fatality," said Bill Kushner, Des Plaines police.

The crane that failed is positioned on eastbound I-90 above Touhy. One lane of westbound I-90 and two lanes of eastbound I-90 are blocked in that area.

To get around the closure, drivers should take Oakton, Howard Avenue or Algonquin Road to go east-west. They should not take Higgins Road, since it turns into Touhy.

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 a previous statement from 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.

The Sun-Times Media Wire contributed to this report.

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