The Bridge to Chatham or Nowhere: Who Will Decide

The Bridge to Chatham or Nowhere: Who Will Decide

It looks like the Walmart being built in West Chatham in the Chatham Market Mall is on schedule to open in Feb 2012. Now it will get interesting because this is where politician and so called community activist who sold their souls for this Walmart are going to have to put up or hide. They have promised everyone jobs, displaced workers, youth, seniors, returning citizens, etc and now they are going to have to deliver.

The other issue is the traffic. The estimates are that an additional 2,500 cars will travel west through Chatham via 83rd ad 87th Street to Walmart. A traffic study by Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT), initiated by Howard Brookins, Alderman of the 21st ward recommended that a bridge be build at 85th Vincennes going over the Dan Ryan expressway to 85th State Street, which resides in the 6th ward, to ease traffic congestion on West 83rd and 87th Street. A second independent study funded by Walmart indicated that a bridge diverting traffic at 85th street into Chatham would not have a negative impact. Former Alderman Freddrenna Lyle vowed that a bridge if built would end in the middle of the Dan Ryan expressway. Also, all the candidates for Alderman of the 6th ward indicated they would not support a bridge project.

Unfortunately it's not that cut and dry. An adjacent development which has not received a lot of press, "The Legacy Project" at 85th Vincennes, was backed by former Mayor Richard Daley is still in the works and was not factored into the estimates.

The question still is who's going to pay for this bridge? Per Alderman Brookins, the revenue generated from Walmart would pay for it and there would be no cost to taypayers. Now, that we have a new mayor, alderman of the 6th ward and a new city council can this project be pulled off?

Leave a comment