CHICAGO — The city is closing part of Lake Shore Drive Downtown on Thursday, the same day video of Chicago police fatally shooting 13-year-old Adam Toledo is set to be released.
The Lake Shore Drive bridge over the Chicago River will be raised from 10 p.m. Thursday to 5 a.m. Friday. The city’s Department of Transportation made the announcement just hours after the Civilian Office of Police Accountability confirmed that police footage of the March 29 shooting of the seventh grader will be released on Thursday.
RELATED: Video of police shooting 13-year-old Adam Toledo will be released on Thursday
A spokesperson for the Chicago Department of Transportation said the bridges will be raised “for testing and maintenance ahead of boat season.” Bridge testing continued throughout the month and the Lake Shore Drive Bridge had its lengthy maintenance test scheduled for Monday. Spokesman Michael Claffey said crews must carry out additional tests, which will take place on Thursday. Officials said the bridge tests were unrelated to the video’s release.
The first boat race of the spring season is set to begin on Saturday, officials said.
Motorists will be diverted to Columbus Avenue. Drivers heading north will need to go from Monroe to Columbus, Illinois and then back to Lake Shore Drive. Drivers heading south will need to get off Lake Shore Drive at Grand Avenue, head towards Columbus and get back on the road in Monroe.
The city is bracing for possible protests after footage from body-worn police cameras emerged. More officers have been sent downtown and large trucks that can be used to block roads have been set up. Large salt trucks were parked outside the Chicago Police Headquarters in Bronzeville.
Mayor Lori Lightfoot called for lifting the downtown Chicago River bridges during social justice protests last summer, an unusual move not used by previous mayors. A city watchdog later concluded that the tactic of raising bridges between Michigan Avenue and Wells Street led to violent clashes between police and protesters, took time to arrest looters and officers did not didn’t think it was effective. It also hadn’t been done for at least a decade and was rejected as an emergency crowd control strategy at the 2012 NATO summit.
RELATED: Even police thought lifting Chicago’s bridges was a bad idea during the unrest, watchdog says
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