Obama's 'Fix it First' Program Would Mend 'Deficient' Palos Area 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 could impact the Palos area.
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."
Three of the bridges labeled as structurally deficient that Obama referred to are near the Palos area, 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."
Two bridges identified by the Transportation for America website underwent work in 2012. Both are northwest of Palos Park in Cook County.
The bridge over Mill Creek at Route 83 opened in November after two months of work. The 119th Street bridge, which also runs over Mill Creek, went through a repair and replacement work over the summer, a project that was estimated to cost $1.3 million, according to the Illinois Department of Transportation.
See the accompanying map for a look at other deficient bridges, which are indicated in red.
A third structurally deficient bridge found near the Palos area is in Chicago Ridge.
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."
Carrie Frillman contributed to this report.
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