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Amstutz closed Saturday for starring role in ‘Chicago Fire’

Crews set up crashed cars for scenes dram'Chicago Fire' which were filmed The Amstutz Waukegan. | Ryan Pagelow~Sun-Times Media

Crews set up crashed cars for scenes of the drama "Chicago Fire" which were filmed on The Amstutz in Waukegan. | Ryan Pagelow~Sun-Times Media

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Updated: May 6, 2013 2:13AM

WAUKEGAN — “Lights, camera, Amstutz.”

The regionally famous “Road to Nowhere” will again host the entertainment industry this Saturday, March 9, as the producers of NBC’s “Chicago Fire” informed Waukegan officials Wednesday the lakefront highway’s filmmaker-friendly logistics had won out over a planned shoot on the Edens Expressway.

City spokesman David Motley said the Amstutz will be closed to all traffic between 6 a.m. and 8 p.m. on Saturday, with a posted detour of Sheridan Road between Greenwood Avenue on the north and Genesee Street on the south.

“Chicago Fire,” a first-year drama filmed on location in the Windy City, previously came north last September to film a mass-casualty scene on the Amstutz for an episode that aired Thanksgiving week.

The show’s production staff also placed wreckage from a single-engine airplane on 29th Street and Martin Luther King Drive in Chicago late last year, a simulation that at least one local newscast briefly mistook for the real thing.

The Amstutz and its four lanes stretch about 2.5 miles from end to end, and the easily closed roadway has been used over the years for such scenes as a traffic jam in “Groundhog Day” and a night-time chase in “Batman Begins.”

Local legend has it that Robert Altman, after filming a crash scene for “A Wedding,” praised the Amstuz as “the only expressway in the country that no one uses.”

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