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Thursday, March 23

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The Mechanics
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Transportation Mon Mar 28 2011

More Transportation Thoughts

In light of Tuesday's event about deteriorating bridges in Illinois, we plowed through Transportation for America's 21-page report The Fix We're In For: The State of Illinois' Bridges (PDF) to digest more of the facts for you. Kathleen Woodruff, Transportation for America's Illinois field organizer, also kindly sent along this picture from Tuesday's event.

  • Currently, one out of 12 bridges in Illinois are likely to be deteriorating to some degree, and 8.5 percent of bridges in Illinois are currently rated "structurally deficient" according to government standards. This compares to 11.5 percent nationwide.

  • Illinois is the 35th worst state in terms of the overall conditions of the state's bridges.

  • Most bridges are designed to last about 50 years; the average age of bridges in Illinois is 38.2 years old.

  • Out of the top 10 structurally deficient bridges with the highest traffic volumes, seven of them are in Cook County.

The report singles out Chicago's 50-year-old overpass at Western Avenue between Addison and Diversey, stating that it "has reached the end of its useful life and is overdue for repair and rehabilitation. Some local officials and residents have noted that the current structure, in addition to being unsafe, has been a strain on city finances due to the continual need for small patches and repairs."

Beyond this report, Transportation for America also has an interesting interactive graphic about transportation issues facing each state. According to the coalition's analysis, annual hours of delay per peak traveler in Chicago increased from 33 hours in 1995 to 46 hours in 2005. Read more transportation facts about Illinois here. The group has also mapped the nationwide "transit funding crisis" here.

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