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Infrastructure Week 2015 in Chicago: Broke, Broken and Out of Time

Registration for this event is now closed, but walk-ins are welcome.

HBO’s satirical news magazine Last Week Tonight with John Oliver recently skewered America’s lackadaisical attitude toward infrastructure with wit and the sobering facts— such as that the World Economic Forum ranked our nation behind 15 others, including Iceland and Spain, for overall infrastructure quality. That prompted us to ask, what if we cut a ribbon every time we fix a pothole? You might say we’re trying to put the “fun” back in infrastructure funding.

Read panelist John Porcari’s blog post about the event.

The not-so-funny truth is that Chicago-area water pipes leak enough each week to overflow the Willis Tower and one in three Illinois roads will be in poor condition if the General Assembly does not approve dedicated funding for infrastructure investment this session.

For those of us, like Oliver, who realize infrastructure is “actually pretty fascinating”—that roads, buses, trains, bike lanes and sidewalks are the very paths to commerce, education and life; water mains are literally lifelines—the urgent challenge is to overcome the public’s blasé mindset and identify new ways to renew and rebuild our aging infrastructure. Because when infrastructure fails, as we are allowing it to do with the unrelenting march of time and willful underinvestment, it’s not funny at all—indeed, it can be tragic.

Join the Metropolitan Planning Council, Brookings Metropolitan Policy Program and the Public Affairs Committee of the Union League Club of Chicago for Broke, Broken and Out of Time, a half-day forum where policy makers, elected officials and thought leaders will come together to identify how Illinois can finance, build, deliver and maintain world-class infrastructure. This forum is part of Infrastructure Week 2015, a series of national events.

Event sponsors

Associated Equipment Distributors

HBK Engineering, LLC

Sponsorships are available at various levels. For sponsorship information, contact Scott Farley, MPC development director, at or 312 863 6010.

Discussion topics will include the Accelerate Illinois campaign to improve statewide transportation investment, innovations in water supply management, and what Chicago and Illinois can do to deliver improved infrastructure.

The exciting agenda includes:

7:30 AM- Doors Open

8:00 AM- Opening Remarks

8:30 AM- Transportation:

10:15AM- Water Infrastructure:

12:00PM- Infrastructure Delivery:

1:15 PM- Closing Remarks

General admission tickets are $75, and breakfast and lunch are included. (Please remember the Union League Club requires business casual dress.)

Looking to for another opportunity to participate in Ill. Dept. of Transportation’s state-wide listening tour with Secretary Blankenhorn? They are hosting two free public events in Chicago on May 13.