Breaking Down the Burden: Understanding Chicago’s Infrastructure Challenges

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Infrastructure is very important for the growth and development of communities as it provides the backbone for the progress of the framework that supports the economy. This infrastructure includes roads, railways, telecommunications, water supply, etc. and is a strong factor that determines the degree to which investors are willing to invest in the community. Infrastructure also boosts general service delivery within a community by ensuring the timely delivery of quality services.

This essentially means that with poor infrastructure, delivery of quality services will be greatly hampered, and by extension, the economy will be crippled, or at the very least, stifled. Infrastructure, when bad and dilapidated, also reduces the amount of profit that communities can benefit from otherwise good infrastructure.

Quality of life is also greatly determined by good or bad infrastructure. Roads connect communities and families, and having good drinking water and electricity to a high degree determines your comfort, happiness, and productivity in life.

For a big city such as Chicago, which is ranked the most populous city in Illinois and the third most populous city in the United States, you would expect that infrastructure would be at its peak. Since this is not entirely wrong, it is not entirely accurate either.

The reason for this is not so far-fetched. With the constant traffic the city encounters in the areas of business, tourism, service delivery, the number of residents that depend on the government for basic amenities, and even in real estate, there is bound to be some “wear and tear” when it comes to the state of infrastructure within Chicago. 



  1. Chicago’s Interstate Highway System  

An average car owner in Chicago spends over $600 on car repairs due to bad roads, with a total loss of around $5 billion by Chicagoan drivers due to dilapidated roads. 

The Interstate Highway System in Chicago ranks one of the worst in the nation when the deterioration of the road pavements and bridges is considered. Of all the Interstate bridges in Chicago, eight percent of the total number are rated in very poor condition. This puts them as the third worst in the United States. On the other hand, the condition of road pavements puts it among the 16 worst in the United States.

Breaking Down the Burden: Understanding Chicago's Infrastructure Challenges

With millions of people living in Chicago and over 1.1 million vehicles registered in Chicago, it is not so difficult to see why the roads, pavement, and interstate bridges are in such poor condition. The constant movement of cars, especially heavy-duty vehicles, is bound to cause some kind of wear and tear on the roads within the city.

The weather condition within the city also contributes to the terrible state of roads, with intense rainstorms and ice storms experienced in the town. 

Chicago sidewalks are not left out when considering “workout” systems within the city. It is estimated that over $20 million has been spent on the rehabilitation of sidewalks within the city, with over $7 million paid in compensation to individuals who have sustained injuries due to poorly maintained sidewalks. A study shows that over 70,000 sidewalks require maintenance and over 600 miles of city streets have no sidewalks, to begin with.



  2. Water Supply in Chicago  

Chicago gets its water supply from Lake Michigan. The water is then treated at either of the two largest water treatment plants on the planet. The plant processes over one billion gallons of water every day to service the 2.7 million residents within the city; however, complaints have been raised in recent times by some homeowners as regards the consistency of the water supply in Chicago.

For some residents, the water pressure is very low, while others seem to have gone for days without a single drop of water coming into their houses. This, of course, is due to many reasons or factors ranging from defective, worn-out piping systems to a problem that may be traced right down to the water supply department.

This is extremely frustrating for residents and individuals looking to invest in real estate, so it has become a priority for many to confirm the status of the water supply before making any purchase of a home within Chicago. This problem is easily solved by purchasing homes from reputable platforms such as WeBuyHousesChicago, where you are sure to get a fail-proof home with no deficiencies in its infrastructure. 

Another growing concern in recent times has to do with the quality of drinking water in the city. Recent surveys have shown the presence of high concentrations of lead in the water supply within the city of Chicago. This is due to the nature of the pipes used in the distribution of water supply within the state and would mean complete replacement of the pipes in question. 



  3. Erosion  

Another significant concern in Chicago is the degree to which erosion has ravaged the shoreline of the city. Due to climate change, the water level around the city has risen significantly, and as a result, houses built around the affected regions of the city have been greatly affected, with some of these houses seeing cracks from the foundation upward and others toppling completely.

The rise in water level has also caused an increase in the frequency of floods in certain regions of the city. This flood has proven very damaging to public infrastructure as well as houses and private property. About $1.5 million was allocated in January 2022 to address the growing concern, but it is evident that more has to be done to quell these issues altogether.  



  4. Natural Disasters  

Although Chicago is a city not very prone to natural disasters such as hurricanes, tornadoes, and earthquakes, certain other disasters are associated with the city. Disasters such as heat waves, flooding, snow storms, and extremely low temperatures are major factors in the deterioration of Chicago’s infrastructure. Investors in real estate need to consider these factors when making a move to Chicago.



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