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Obama's 'Fix it First' Program Would Mend 'Deficient' Oak Forest Area Bridges

In his 2013 State of the Union Address Tuesday, President Barack Obama touched on immigration policy, gun control and the economy, among other national issues. In terms of infrastructure, he proposed a "Fix it First" plan that may affect Oak F

President Barack Obama proposed Tuesday night what he called a "Fix It First" program to address the nation's crumbling infrastructure—like roads and bridges—in an effort to improve citizens' quality of life and bring jobs to the United States.

"I propose a 'Fix-It-First' program to put people to work as soon as possible on our most urgent repairs, like the nearly 70,000 structurally deficient bridges across the country," he said during the State of the Union Address.

"And to make sure taxpayers don’t shoulder the whole burden, I’m also proposing a Partnership to Rebuild America that attracts private capital to upgrade what our businesses need most—modern ports to move goods; modern pipelines to withstand a storm; modern schools worthy of our children."

Many of the structurally deficient bridges Obama referred to are located on Chicago's North Side, according to Transportation for America. The organization's campaign says coordinators are "eager to reform how we spend transportation dollars at the federal, state and local level to create a safer, cleaner and smarter transportation system that works for everyone."

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Several bridges near Oak Forest are categorized as "deficient." Due for repairs are the 159th Street bridge (where it crosses Midlothian Creek), and Crawford Avenue, where it crosses I-57. 

See the accompanying map for a look at other deficient bridges, which are indicated in red.

Overall, Illinois ranks 35th in the country when it comes to inadequate bridges with about 8.5 percent of all its bridges rated as such.

That may change if Obama has anything to say about it.

"Let’s prove that there is no better place to do business than the United States of America," he said Tuesday. "And let’s start right away."

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