U.S. Rep. Marie Newman

U.S. Rep. Marie Newman

Railroad crossing tie-ups to continue

No 65th Street overpass until 2025 or later, Newman aide says

By Dermot Connolly

Motorists looking for relief from railroad tie-ups in Clearing will have to wait until the end of 2025 at the earliest, a top aide to U.S. Rep. Marie Newman (D-3rd) told local business leaders last month.

“The [Illinois Department of Transportation] project team has finalized the 65th Street overpass project this summer,” Newman aide Shadin Maali said. “They are on target to move into Phase 2.”

MarieNewman2021

U.S. Rep. Marie Newman (D-3rd)

Her remarks came at a United Business Association of Midway meeting held Sept. 15 at the Hyatt Place Hotel in Bedford Park. About 20 local businesses and non-profits were represented.

UBAM members had been told that Newman herself would attend and answer questions, but she cancelled several days earlier, saying she had just returned from a House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee meeting.

Maali said the work ahead for the planned overpass near 65th and Nottingham will see IDOT engineers approve design plans and right-of-way acquisitions by the end of this year. IDOT also will need to buy pieces of land adjacent to the intersection.

“It’s a long time coming,” said UBAM board member Pat O’Brien, of O’Brien Family Realty, 6359 S. Central.

“Is funding really there, for all the acquisitions that need to be done?” she asked, expressing concern that funding may be reallocated elsewhere.

“We have only been waiting 50 years for this,” said UBAM President and Executive Director Anita Cummings, with a wry smile

“As far as we know, everything has been funded,” Maali responded.

For decades, local business owners in Clearing and Garfield Ridge have complained about delays caused by slow-moving freight trains—saying they are more than a nuisance, that they cost local businesses time and money.

Thomas S. Baliga, president of the Archer Heights Civic Association, asked if any federal funds have been allocated yet for a planned underpass at Archer and Knox, another long-awaited grade improvement at a busy railroad crossing.

He also sought information on the state’s plan to widen Cicero Avenue by one lane in each direction under the Stevenson Expressway, just north of 43rd Street.

Baliga and the AHCA have been working on cleaning up that area of Cicero, between the expressway and 55th Street, which some call the “Gateway to Midway.”

Maali referred detailed questions about those projects to Newman’s district director, Ben Hardin—who was not at the UBAM meeting.

“We just need to get those projects going,” said Baliga afterward, pointing to dual benefits of the Cicero Avenue expansion—relieving traffic congestion and eliminating the space under the viaduct that has become an encampment for squatters.

A week after the meeting and in response to a question, Baliga told the Clear-Ridge Reporter & NewsHound he has not heard from Hardin or anyone else from Newman’s office about the questions he raised.

After several small business owners said they are continuing to have problems with mail delivery, Maali said Newman is having regular meetings with local aldermen and the U.S. Postal Service representatives to improve service.

Also at the meeting was Robert “Bo” Steiner, district director of the Small Business Administration. He urged business owners still feeling the economic effects of the pandemic to apply for federal funds through the Economic Injury Disaster Loan program before the program expires on Dec. 31.

He pointed out that loans are available to non-profits as well and come with a 3.75% interest rate that can be paid back over 30 years. More information is available at sba.gov.

Steiner noted that the SBA administered 223,000 Payroll Protection Plan loans to Illinois businesses since the pandemic. That program ended in May, but business owners can still apply for loan forgiveness, which he encouraged them to do.

“We’re a small agency, and probably guarantee about $30 million in loans during a normal year. But in the past 16 to 18 months, we have delivered over a trillion dollars in funding so it has been pretty dynamic,” he said.

UBAM Executive Director Anita Cummings said she was pleased with the volume of information presented by Maali and Steiner.

“UBAM has been around since 1985,” she said. “We’ve expanded our footprint, and we’re looking for a partnership (with public officials). Our goal is to help the entire Midway Airport area. Everybody profits when the whole area is economically sound.”

Tim Hadac contributed to this story.

2 Comments

  1. Martin Lock on October 3, 2021 at 8:49 am

    This is complete BS Ms Neuman’s representative does not know what the heck she is talking about. I do and she, Ms Shadin Maali does not know what she is talking about.



  2. Kevin Tloczrk on October 3, 2021 at 9:57 am

    Hello
    What about opening up 67th & Central Ave in Bedford park. If you were to open up Central Ave that would help relieve some of the traffic congestion on Cicero Ave.



Local News

Mary Stanek

Restaurant wall comes alive with art

By Mary Stanek Your correspondent in Archer Heights and West Elsdon 3808 W. 57th Place • (773) 284-7394 Soar up high with the beauty and grace of a butterfly–Unknown author. My favorite watering hole in years past, Andy’s, at 57th Place and Pulaski, has been a restaurant now for a few years. I recently noticed…

Peggy Zabicki

Something to be truly thankful for

By Peggy Zabicki Your correspondent in West Lawn 3633 W. 60th Place • (773) 504-9327 Thank you, one and all, for the texts and calls. I wasn’t feeling well last week and couldn’t write my column. I didn’t have COVID-19. I had that before there were vaccines for it. For me, COVID-19 was no big deal. On my worst day…

Jeanette Arteaga

Congratulations, Jeanette Arteaga

By Kathy Headley Your correspondent in Chicago Lawn and Marquette Manor 6610 S. Francisco • (773) 776-7778 Congratulations to Jeanette Arteaga, who has been chosen as a contributing author in a new book debuting this month. The title is Business Divas and focuses on Latinas in different stages of their business: some just starting out,…

marist logo

Boys Basketball: Marist stays unbeaten through two weeks

By Steve Millar Correspondent Marist came into the season with some question marks after losing a pair of key players to transfers and elevating several newcomers, including three freshmen, to the varsity roster. The young RedHawks are, however, off to a blazing 6-0 start. They held on for a 57-55 win on the road Nov.…

Jaeden King of St. Xavier gets ready to score one of his 39 points against Trinity Christian College on Nov. 30. Photo by Jeff Vorva

Local Hoops Wrap: Transfers shining for Saint Xavier in early going

By Jeff Vorva Staff Writer The transfer portal is turning college athletics upside down, and Saint Xavier men’s basketball coach Robert Ford is enjoying it. And taking advantage of it. Jaeden King came to SXU in 2021 after transferring from NCAA Division II Tiffin University. Prior to that he played at Western Illinois. He is…

SXU sophomore Kaleigh Ritter, shown in a match earlier this year, had 63 assists in a five-set loss to Cornerstone in the NAIA national tournament. Photo by Jeff Vorva

Area Sports Roundup: College of DuPage repeats as national football champ

By Jeff Vorva Staff Writer The College of DuPage, the only junior college in Illinois with a football program, won its second straight National Junior College Athletic Association national championship with a 14-12 victory over North Dakota State College of Science in Glen Ellyn. Former Richards’ standout Marquel Porter caught a 25-yard pass for the…

Mary Stanek

Hang out your socks for St. Nick

By Mary Stanek Your correspondent in Archer Heights and West Elsdon 3808 W. 57th Place • (773) 284-7394 Hang out those socks on the night of Monday, Dec. 5. St. Nicholas day is here on Tuesday, Dec. 6. St. Nick was known for selling all of his possessions and giving to the poor. He may…

Kathy Headley

Thanksgiving was fun, and delicious

By Kathy Headley Your correspondent in Chicago Lawn and Marquette Manor 6610 S. Francisco • (773) 776-7778 Hope your Thanksgiving was as fun and happy as ours. As always, the aroma and taste of home cooking and holiday desserts were a big part of the day. I feel comfortable telling you where we picked up…

CRRNH_SweetSaluteRhineVFW_112322

A sweet salute to veterans

Rhine VFW Post 2729 members William Haas and Jerry Dipasquale survey some of the bags of candy, pastries and other treats given to the post earlier this month by the students of Sahs School in Central Stickney. The Sahs boys and girls also wrote personal letters and made patriotic posters expressing their thanks and appreciation…

Runners get off to a fast start at the Orland Park Turkey Trot, where a record 1,000 runners signed up. Photo by Jeff Vorva

Orland Park man wins Turkey Trot; St. Laurence runner takes women’s title

By Jeff Vorva Staff Writer The number 19 meant good things on Thanksgiving morning. The top two finishers in the 34th running of the Orland Park Turkey Trot had “19” as part of the number on their bibs. Brandon Lukas, 25, of Orland Park, wore No. 7519 and took first place with a time of…

Neighbors

Nael Digital Ad2
Pension debt grows to $139.7 billion

Pension debt grows to $139.7 billion

By PETER HANCOCK Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – Illinois’ unfunded pension liability grew by $9.8 billion, or 7.5 percent, in the fiscal year that ended June 30, due in large part to market losses in a volatile economy. The Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability reported Thursday that the total unfunded liability in the…

ANALYSIS: Illinois’ high court makes history

ANALYSIS: Illinois’ high court makes history

By JERRY NOWICKI Capitol News Illinois [email protected] While a crocheted serpent took its place on the Capitol rotunda this week and the governor signed a pair of major bills passed in the recent veto session, history was happening on the Illinois Supreme Court. For the first time in its history, the state’s high court is…

Pritzker signs changes to SAFE-T Act’s cash bail provisions

Pritzker signs changes to SAFE-T Act’s cash bail provisions

By JERRY NOWICKI Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – Gov. JB Pritzker on Tuesday signed a follow-up measure to the SAFE-T Act criminal justice reform, the third such amendment since the law’s initial passage in January 2021. The changes approved by lawmakers last week in the fall veto session center on the law’s provisions which…

State elections board certifies 2022 results

State elections board certifies 2022 results

By JERRY NOWICKI Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois State Board of Elections certified its election results Monday, putting the final stamp on another Democratic sweep of statewide offices. The board reported that 4,142,642 out of 8,115,751 registered voters cast ballots in the election, a turnout of roughly 51 percent. That’s down from…

Holiday displays – including the Satanic Temple’s – return to Illinois Capitol

Holiday displays – including the Satanic Temple’s – return to Illinois Capitol

By JERRY NOWICKI Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – The Satanic Temple of Illinois debuted a new display in the Illinois Capitol rotunda Tuesday, taking its place next to the annual Christmas and Hanukkah displays. For Christmas, that means the Springfield Nativity Committee has once again placed a manger scene featuring Mary, Joseph and Jesus.…

State elections board certifies 2022 results

State elections board certifies 2022 results

By JERRY NOWICKI Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois State Board of Elections certified its election results Monday, putting the final stamp on another Democratic sweep of statewide offices. The board reported that 4,142,642 out of 8,115,751 registered voters cast ballots in the election, a turnout of roughly 51 percent. That’s down from…

Tax credits, prison reform pass in veto session

Tax credits, prison reform pass in veto session

By PETER HANCOCK Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – Illinois lawmakers last week passed significant legislation dealing with electric vehicle manufacturing incentives and the availability of hygiene products for prisoners in the state’s correctional system. But some weightier issues, including a possible assault weapons ban, will wait until a lame duck session scheduled for early…

CAPITOL RECAP: SAFE-T Act changes head to Pritzker; unemployment debt deal advances

CAPITOL RECAP: SAFE-T Act changes head to Pritzker; unemployment debt deal advances

By CAPITOL NEWS ILLINOIS SPRINGFIELD – Lawmakers on Thursday passed a long-awaited amendment to the SAFE-T Act criminal justice reform’s provisions that will eliminate cash bail when the calendar hits 2023. The measure expands the list of crimes for which a judge can order pretrial detention, adds to what a judge can consider when determining…

Lawmakers advance $1.8 billion unemployment fund bailout

Lawmakers advance $1.8 billion unemployment fund bailout

By PETER HANCOCK Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – On the final day of their fall veto session, Illinois lawmakers on Thursday advanced a pair of bills that would infuse $1.8 billion into the state’s unemployment trust fund, which was depleted during the economic shutdown brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. The bipartisan agreement came…

Pretrial detention changes to SAFE-T Act will head to governor

Pretrial detention changes to SAFE-T Act will head to governor

By JERRY NOWICKI Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – Lawmakers on Thursday passed a long-awaited amendment to the SAFE-T Act criminal justice reform’s provisions that will eliminate cash bail when the calendar hits 2023. The measure expands the list of crimes for which a judge can order pretrial detention, adds to what a judge can…

CRR NH Reliable Waterproofing House Ad
CRR NH Rainbow Motel House Ad