Healthy Plan

Plans for I-55 Expansion in Chicago Raise Concerns Over Air Quality and Community Health

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Having spent most of her life in Chicago’s Little Village neighborhood, Sara Cortes learned to live with bad-smelling air that created a haze in the summer. 

About a year ago, Cortes, 38, was diagnosed with an untreatable lung condition that makes her tired and leaves her short of breath.

So she was shocked when she learned of a fast-moving plan in Springfield to expand the nearby Stevenson Expressway, part of Interstate 55, with additional lanes, bringing more traffic and more pollution.

“It’s definitely a concern for me,” said Cortes. “The air quality in Little Village has been bad for a long time.” 

Introduced at the tail end of the Illinois legislative session, a pair of measures that promote private funding of road projects are moving through quickly as state lawmakers try to wrap up their session this week. One is a resolution that would

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