...but it's OK, they promptly replaced it.
Not so much the street we live on, which is still missing.
Let me explain: Last December we got notice from the City that (using a combination of Stimulus and TIF money) they were going to replace the sewers on our street--built in 1912--with sewers that might actually have the capacity to drain away storm water before it floods everyone's basements. This was quite welcome news: since Chicago uses a mixed sewer system, with rainwater and sewage running through the same pipes, basement floods are... unpleasant.
People's Gas decided that this would be a good opportunity to replace some similarly aged gas lines, and the Department of Water Management decided, oh, what the heck, let's put in a new water main and fire hydrants.
So every day since just after Christmas, Kewanee Ave, the street that fronts our house, has gotten a little more chewed up. For you GTers out there, think of a wider version of the last two miles to the stamp sands. For those of you who've never had the pleasure, let's just say that I'm glad our car has high ground clearance.
Chicago's subsoil is clay; this clay was, as best I can tell, developed by the 3M company for maximum adhesive properties while wet, and to set to a concrete-like hardness when dry. We've become considerably more familiar with this stuff, and the gravel that the contractors are using to fill the holes they make in it, than we ever wanted to be.
We live on the corner, our "front" door is actually on the side of the house, on a street that has, so far, not been torn up. This would be pretty good, except for the river of mud that flows down that street when it rains, and the dust storms that blow down it when it's dry. Ah well, the City told us it would be a month, and it's only been a little over three, so they're pretty much on schedule. I was chatting with some of the workers the other day, and they think they'll have Kewanee repaved in about two weeks; they put in new curbs yesterday, so this is actually plausible. If the new sewers work as advertised, it will have been well worth the inconvenience.
Which brings me to the sidewalk. The sidewalk in question is in front of our house, and had badly subsided. I was expecting to have to have it replaced sometime in the next few years, an expense I was not looking forward to. Imagine my delight when I looked out my front window bright and early Monday and saw a guy in a Gradall
tearing up said walk, doing a remarkably efficient job of it, in fact. I watched him for a while, marveling at how he was popping each square out of the ground, delicately balancing them on the bucket and loading them into a waiting dump truck. He took up about 30 feet of walk in the ten minutes or so I watched. "Excellent, I thought, "New sidewalk, here we come!" Then I went and did something productive for the next several hours.
After lunch, I went for a walk, and discovered that only our, and our neighbor's walks had been taken up. Given the rate of destruction, I thought they would have managed the whole block by then. I asked one of the construction guys about it, and he started laughing. It seems that the work order was for tear out and replacement of two squares on the corner that had been damaged by running heavy construction equipment over them, not the whole block! Apparently, there was some consternation when the City inspector showed up.
The upshot is, we've got a brand new sidewalk, paid for by the contractor, rather than out of our tax money or our pockets directly. First time I've ever had something nice to say about a City inspector.