Congressman Quigley, 311 upgrade, CDOT bridge construction fill EVA January agenda

Rep. Mike Quigley speaks Jan. 7 in the monthly EVA membership meeting at the Happy Village.


Chicago Avenue, Division Street bridges

Soliman Khudeira of the Chicago Department of Transportation presented tentative plans for bridge construction at the Chicago River.

A wider Division Street bridge at the North Branch accommodate two lanes of traffic each way, plus a left turn lane and riverwalk. Work should start in the third quarter of 2020 and finish at the end of 2021.

On Chicago Avenue, a temporary bridge will be in place next month to replace the Halsted Street viaduct now being removed. The permanent bridge will be similar to the Division Street project. Expect construction to extend from the start of 2021 till mid-2022.

311 service upgrade

Nelly Benitez of The William Everett Group demonstrated the new 311 Chi mobile app, part of city call center improvements rolled out in December. The app will take service requests, send alerts when work is being done and take feedback. All service calls in a neighborhood can be shown on a map.

Congressman Quigley

U.S. Rep. Mike Quigley has a track record of showing up at EVA meetings since his days on the county board. He says he'd rather go back to talking about constituent services, but as a member of the House Intelligence Committee he has work still to do in investigating foreign influence in the 2016 election. An open question: Was the president compromised?

"There are no coincidences in this investigation. Everything is tied together," Quigley said. "Watergate was algebra; this is calculus." Quigley challenges the view that President Trump could not be indicted, but supports Special Counsel Robert Mueller. "He's really smart and is doing this the right way," he said.

Quigley also addressed the government shutdown, saying border security is worthwhile but a wall only would delay to an illicit border crossing by 90 seconds. He fears Trump may "play more games" on Russia sanctions. On election security, he said, "I want people to patiently impatient." While these issues stir partisan anger, Quigley said, "at one point we have to start working together."

Bylaws

By voice vote, members approved a bylaws change to liberalize voting at EVA meetings.

Polish Triangle

The A canopy at the Division Street Blue Line entrance will be built next year. Future plans include an elevator and escalator, but in the second half of an unfunded 20-year plan. Stephen Rynkiewicz of the Polish Triangle Coalition noted that Quigley has sway over funding as a member of the House Appropriations Committee.

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