New data shows large and growing backlog of bridge maintenance in Illinois - Metropolitan Planning Council

Skip to main content

New data shows large and growing backlog of bridge maintenance in Illinois

At a deteriorating overpass at Western and Belmont avenues in Chicago, members of Transportation for America Illinois coalition will call for smart investments in maintenance to improve economy and keep drivers safe

WHAT: A new report from Transportation for America shows that drivers in Illinois regularly cross heavily traveled bridges and overpasses that have earned “poor” ratings from the government: One out of every 12 bridges in Illinois is likely to be deteriorating to some degree, and 8.5 percent of bridges statewide are rated “structurally deficient.” More than 60 percent of all bridges will be past their useful life in 2030, according to the report. 

At the site of a 50-year-old overpass at Chicago’s Western and Belmont avenues that is overdue for repair, Chicago-area transportation advocates will discuss the report’s findings and urge federal decision makers to address our transportation network’s vital maintenance needs through a new surface transportation funding authorization. Without a change in both spending levels and overall priorities, Illinois will need hundreds of dollars from each driver to fix all of its structurally deficient bridges. 

WHEN: Tuesday, March 22, 2011, 10 a.m. 

WHERE: Overpass at Belmont and Western avenues. The event will set up at the southeast corner of Melrose Street and Western Avenue, just south of the Bluelight Bar, at 3251 N. Western Ave., Chicago. 

Peter Skosey
, Vice President, Metropolitan Planning Council
Brian Imus, State Director, Illinois PIRG
Kevin Brubaker, Deputy Director, Environmental Law and Policy Center
Gideon Bluestein, Executive Director, Infrastructure Council, Illinois Chamber of Commerce
Stefanie Shull, Policy Analyst, Center for Neighborhood Technology

For more information, contact Kathleen Woodruff, Illinois Statewide Field Organizer, Transportation for America, at (773) 251-0065 or


Transportation for America (T4 America) is the largest, most diverse coalition working on transportation reform today. Our nation’s transportation network is based on a policy that has not been significantly updated since the 1950’s. We believe it is time for a bold new vision — transportation that guarantees our freedom to move however we choose and leads to a stronger economy, greater energy security, cleaner environment and healthier America for all of us. We’re calling for more responsible investment of our federal tax dollars to create a safer, cleaner, smarter transportation system that works for everyone.


  1. 1. Brendan on March 22, 2011

    If you're going to cite a deteriorating overpass at Belmont and Western it might behoove you to post a photo of that overpass and not an image of the Museum Campus-11th Street Metra station.

More posts by Mandy

All posts by Mandy »

MPC on Twitter

Follow us on Twitter »

Stay in the loop!

MPC's Regionalist newsletter keeps you up to date with our work and our upcoming events.?

Subscribe to Regionalist

Most popular news

Browse by date »

This page can be found online at

Metropolitan Planning Council 140 S. Dearborn St.
Suite 1400
Chicago, Ill. 60603
312 922 5616

Sign up for newsletter and alerts »

Shaping a better, bolder, more equitable future for everyone

For more than 85 years, the Metropolitan Planning Council (MPC) has partnered with communities, businesses, and governments to unleash the greatness of the Chicago region. We believe that every neighborhood has promise, every community should be heard, and every person can thrive. To tackle the toughest urban planning and development challenges, we create collaborations that change perceptions, conversations—and the status quo. Read more about our work »

Donate »