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 S

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."

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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. 

Bob February 14, 2013 at 03:20 PM
Oh, so you looked it up on an advocacy centered biased web site and you figured it should be presented as factual "news" information? Hey, if you saw it on the internet it MUST be true, right?LOL Ummm...when was the last time you did this on a conservative issue? Just askin'. Over the years I've known many fine journalists and have great respect for the profession. Most had the mindset of "If your Mother says she loves you, CHECK IT OUT!". Now the journalistic Mantra seems to be, "If it makes Obama look good, don't dig too deep". I guess what it comes down to is a writer overly eager to put out something making Obama look good, and a lack honest skepticism about his PR and his dishonest policy promotions from political groups like "Moveon.org" and "Transportation for America". I know your work, Dan. You're better than this.
Bob February 14, 2013 at 03:25 PM
The other troubling thing is that someone would be writing a news story on bridge repair issues and not even know that the biggest bridge renovation project in our area in a decade was on the list as being "deficient". Maybe this is just a case of a writer who doesn't know the subject being out of their depth, and not caring enough to research their story.
OakLawnGuy February 14, 2013 at 06:13 PM
So, as was suggested in another comment section, let's see your contribution, Bob. You have it all over Mr Lambert and Ms Swanson - put up or shut up.
Bob February 14, 2013 at 06:56 PM
Actually. OLG, some might consider correcting erroneous and slanted info in a "news" story a contribution. I'm thinking of starting a blog exposing what's going on in local government and schools regarding waste and ripoffs on the community and the kids. I actually attend school and government committee and board meetings and find out a wealth of things the press chooses to ignore, like the plans in North Palos 117 to tear down Conrady JH and spend a fortune builfding a new one at twice the cost of a needed expansion. Tearing down a large school that new to build an only slightly bigger one is pretty much an UNPRECEDENTED in Illinois, yet when I notified the Patch about, they weren't interested. A blog might be a good place to bring this up!
OakLawnGuy February 14, 2013 at 07:01 PM
It would! Go for it.


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