From Sniper to Bridge Collapse, Cline Avenue is a Cursed Highway Through Hammond, Indiana
Cline Avenue in northwest Indiana carries thousands of cars a day to the region's steel mills and casinos. As one of the key highways in the region, it's driven without a second thought. However several incidents of death mar the roadway's history.
The highway, officially Indiana State Road 912 travels between Ridge Road near Gary and the Indiana Toll Road in Hammond.
Cline Avenue Bridge Collapse
When the roadway, largely elevated in some areas was being built, a portion of a ramp collapsed. It happened in April of 1982. 14 workers were killed, 12 instantly at the scene and 2 later at area hospitals. The Indianapolis Star reported the grim details of the collapse that occurred in East Chicago where the Highway crossed the Indiana Harbor shipping channel :
Two sections of ramp fell while about 50 men worked on the decking above and another 30 worked on the ground below. Workers desperately ran for their lives. Some could not make it. Rescuers said they could see legs and arms protruding from the rubble. It was a matter of inches that separated victims from survivors....Most of the dead were found among the ramp's rubble. One body was still at the site, entombed in a slab of concrete.
Cline Avenue bears an honorary name Highway Construction Workers Memorial Highway along this stretch to honor the dead.
The Mystery of the Cline Avenue Sniper Remains Unsolved
Summer 2006 drivers along Cline Avenue reported more than a dozen incidents of their cars being shot at and windows blown out. Some blamed falling debris from the highway. However, the police in the area found what they described as a 'sniper's nest' as the Chicago Tribute reported at the time:
Lake County Detective Pat Tracy said the sniper's nest of crushed grass, a pulled back fence and a couple of cloth cushions was discovered in a grassy area about 15 yards from where [a victim] said his vehicle was struck.
The FBI became involved but the case was never solved and the suspected shootings ended at the end of the summer.
Bridge Closure Death
Another remarkable death adds to the cursed nature of Cline Avenue. The roadway was closed to traffic in the mid-2010s after engineers discovered structural deficiencies in an elevated section of the highway. A passenger in a car driven around construction barriers and 'road closed' warnings died when the driver drove off the bridge.
Today the Cline Avenue bridge site that has been the scene of death and tragedy has been fully rebuilt and is now a toll bridge.
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