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What Failing La Grange/Western Springs Bridges Would Obama's Program Target?

In his 2013 State of the Union Address Tuesday, President Barack Obama proposed a "Fix it First" plan that may affect the Lyons Township area. Find out what local bridges are obsolete and which are failing.

President Barack Obama proposed Tuesday night what he called a "Fix It First" program to address the nation's crumbling infrastructure—like roads and bridges—in an effort to improve citizens' quality of life and bring jobs to the United States.

"I propose a 'Fix-It-First' program to put people to work as soon as possible on our most urgent repairs, like the nearly 70,000 structurally deficient bridges across the country," he said during the State of the Union Address.

"And to make sure taxpayers don’t shoulder the whole burden, I’m also proposing a Partnership to Rebuild America that attracts private capital to upgrade what our businesses need most—modern ports to move goods; modern pipelines to withstand a storm; modern schools worthy of our children."

On Wednesday night's episode of The Daily Show, Jon Stewart posed the question many may have taken away from that: "Which of the 70,000 bridges of death are near my house?"

According to Transportation for America, while none of the bridges in La Grange, Western Springs and La Grange Park qualify as "structurally deficient," two are considered "functionally obsolete:" the Ogden Avenue bridge in La Grange (built 1931, 24,500 cars per day), and the Ogden Avenue bridge across I-294 (built 1958, 30,700 cars per day).

There are several "structurally deficient" bridges nearby and in common use by residents of Lyons Township-area Villages, however, including Joliet Road across Flagg Creek in Indian Head Park (built 1959, 10,100 cars per day), Oak Street across the BNSF in Hinsdale (built 1910, 309 cars per day), I-294 north across the Chicago Sanitation Canal (built 1958, 59,350 cars per day) and 10 different segments of Route 171 in McCook and Summit where it intersects with Route 55 atop the Des Plaines River (up to 20,000 cars per day).

(For a complete map of bridges, highlighting "structurally deficient" ones, click here.)

Overall, Illinois ranks 35th in the country when it comes to inadequate bridges with about 8.5 percent of all its bridges rated as such.

That may change if Obama has anything to say about it.

"Let’s prove that there is no better place to do business than the United States of America," he said Tuesday. "And let’s start right away."

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Nancy Stanner February 14, 2013 at 02:09 PM
This seems like simple common sense to me, what my Okie kinfolk would call "a no-brainer." Unfortunately it's those same "Okies"--those obstinate opponents of many of Obama's common sense measures--who voted against updating ancient Air Traffic Control Centers and THE VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN ACT. "Okies" don't just live in Oklahoma, apparently.

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