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Chicago: Home To Two of the Worst Pieces of US Infrastructure

By Margaret Lyons in Miscellaneous on Apr 8, 2008 10:10PM

Popular Mechanics unveiled its 10 pieces if "US infrastructure we must fix now," and Chicago is home to two of them--and we're the only city to appear twice on the list! Go us! Apparently, both the Circle Interchange (#1) and O'Hare (#10) are clusterfucks on a national scale.

On the circle interchange (which is where 90/94 and 290 meet):


Photo by Michael DaKidd

One parkway and three expressways meet here, and close to 300,000 vehicles a day are forced to reduce speed while navigating a network of tightly curved ramps. The result: an estimated 25 million hours in delays per year. A $975 million expansion project might relieve traffic on one of the expressways, but no plans have been announced to address the congested interchange itself.

And on O'Hare:

It had the country's worst record of on-time departures in the first half of 2007 (fewer than 65 percent), according to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics. And Chicago's O'Hare International Airport is also among the worst in terms of near-misses on the runway–the airport saw 68 runway incursions between 2001 and 2006, with three close calls in March 2006.