Obama's 'Fix it First' Program Would Mend 'Deficient' South Side Bridges
In his 2013 State of the Union Address Tuesday, President Barack Obama touched on immigration policy, gun control and the economy, among other national issues. In terms of infrastructure, he proposed a "Fix it First" plan that may affect the South Side.
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."
Many of the structurally deficient bridges Obama referred to are located on Chicago's South Side and south suburbs, according to Transportation for America. The organization's campaign says coordinators are "eager to reform how we spend transportation dollars at the federal, state and local level to create a safer, cleaner and smarter transportation system that works for everyone."
Some area bridges categorized as inadequte by Transportation for America have been repaired in recent months. View the list to see descriptions of each bridge.
See the accompanying map for a look at other deficient bridges, which are indicated in red. You can enter your address to see bridges near you and how they rate.
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."
-Dan Lambert contributed
Update, 12:23 p.m.: This article has been updated to reflect that some repair work completed in 2012 has not yet been updated in the Transportation for America database.