Tollway's video swan song for Des Plaines Oasis

  • Construction crews tear into the Des Plaines Oasis' glass pavilion.

      Construction crews tear into the Des Plaines Oasis' glass pavilion. Jake Griffin | Staff Photographer, July 2014

 
 
Updated 9/17/2014 7:30 PM

If you're en route to Wisconsin or Chicago via I-90, don't plan on a leisurely stop traffic-gazing from atop the Des Plaines Oasis.

Tollway directors got details of the last days of the iconic glass pavilion with a 36-second time-lapse video at a meeting Wednesday.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

The structure was removed this summer to make way for widening the Jane Addams Tollway (I-90) and the eventual completion of a western bypass around O'Hare International Airport.

The $4.1 million demolition project involved intricate choreography to move 22 concrete beams weighing 65,000 pounds each plus multiple glass panels without causing damage to the interstate.

"We wrapped the outside in this thick wire mesh so nothing would have the potential of falling on the roadway," Chief Engineer Paul Kovacs said.

For three nights, the tollway instituted 15-minute road closures on I-90 to shift each 67-foot beam.

The 11 beams over the eastbound lanes were taken out first, followed by the 11 beams over the westbound lanes.

Some minor landscaping remains but otherwise the work is complete, officials said.

The gas stations and 7-Eleven shops at the oasis will remain until the western bypass' north section is finished in 11 years or so. The oasis pavilion was a destination point for suburbanites in its heyday. It opened in 1959 and featured a popular, white-linen Fred Harvey restaurant.

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