Yesterday, Chicago was forced to close the northbound lanes of Illinois highway 41, also known as Lake Shore Drive, due to cracked beams causing a minor collapse in the roadway. How close did they come to a major collapse?
With all the tax revenue the city and state take in every single minute of every single day of every single year, you’d think there’d be some cash for infrastructure as vital as the Chicago River overpass of Lake Shore Drive. But you’d be wrong.
Illinois’ “deferred maintenance” infrastructure plan, as a Tribune columnist referred to it a year ago, will catch up to us all sooner or later. It’s been a decade since Illinois passed an infrastructure bill that would dedicate new money to fix roads, bridges, tunnels and public transit. The price tag to make the fixes? About $40 billion. On the campaign trail, Gov. J.B. Pritzker said a capital bill is a priority. But the state, already cash-strapped as it deals with millions in pension obligations and unpaid bills, can’t just start writing checks. And best not to look to Washington, D.C., for help right now; President Donald Trump’s $1.5 trillion infrastructure plan has been, well, parked in neutral.
Maybe they can get the retired teachers and politicians who signed unsustainable deals for votes to go out there to fix the roads. #NewMath
Worry not, everyone! The made temp repair and the structure has re-opened. Happy driving.