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Chicago’s $7 Billion Plan to Fix Crumbling Infrastructure

Circle of Blue
April 2, 2012

CHICAGO, Illinois — Chicago is embarking on a sweeping $US 7 billion plan to transform the city’s aging infrastructure, including a $US 1.4 billion investment in water and sewer projects, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced Thursday.

The program, slated to be one of the largest infrastructure investments in Chicago’s history, will touch “nearly every aspect of the city’s infrastructure network” — from its largest airport to streets, schools, community colleges, parks, the water system, and the commuter rail stations — creating more than 30,000 jobs over the next three years, according to the City of Chicago.

Such expensive proposals have become largely unpopular across the United States as debt, austerity, and disinvestment are overwhelming the political debate in most states, and as lawmakers in Washington, D.C., are battling over what to do about the federal government’s $US 1.2 trillion deficit. While the effects of America’s aging and eroding public infrastructure are readily apparent, how to fix it is usually not.

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