By Adam Sege
8:19 AM CDT, October 21, 2013
A truck cab crashed into a barrier on the Dan Ryan Expressway and struck a section of the newly minted third rail of the Red Line overnight, but the damage was repaired and trains were running this morning.
The accident happened in the southbound expressway near 68th Street around 10 p.m. Sunday, the first day of the reopening of the south branch of the Red Line after a five-month reconstruction. Trains were slowing to 35 mph through the crash site this morning.
CTA spokeswoman Tammy Chase said the rail will be replaced Monday night, allowing trains to run up to 55 mph on that stretch Tuesday.
The truck cab landed on the CTA side of the barrier, with most of the cab coming to rest between the barrier and the third rail, according to Chicago Fire Department spokesman Larry Langford said. A car carrier being pulled by the cab remained on the expressway side of the barrier.
The driver was not injured, Langford said.
A portion of the third rail was damaged, prompting the CTA to suspend service on the southbound tracks between 69th and 79th Streets, a CTA spokeswoman said.
Single-tracking was in effect on the northbound portion of the tracks, spokeswoman Catherine Hosinki said. Maintenance workers began repairs shortly after the crash, and the southbound portion of the tracks had reopened by 1:05 a.m.
Residual delays were reported, but normal service was expected to be restored by the morning rush period.
The Illinois State Police briefly shut the southbound portion of the expressway as the truck cab was removed. The lanes reopened afterward, but southbound traffic is being reduced to a single lane overnight, "with that lane subject to full closures nightly" due to construction work on a train overpass, according to the Illinois Department of Transportation.
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