Mystery of the Dan Ryan

No one knows who repaired it

By Steve Rhodes
|  Monday, Mar 16, 2009  |  Updated 9:15 AM CDT
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Mystery of the Dan Ryan

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Who rebuilt the Dan Ryan? The state doesn't know.

Who fixed the Dan Ryan?

It's still a mystery. The massive reconstruction project was completed in 2007 for $975 million (which was $375 million over budget), but the Sun-Times's efforts to determine just who did what - and for how much - have met with a giant sinkhole known as the Illinois Department of Transportation.

"The Better Government Association, partnering with the Chicago Sun-Times, asked the Illinois Department of Transportation to provide a list of contractors and subcontractors who worked on the project," the paper reports today. 

IDOT's response?

"The department is not in possession of a list of contractors and subcontractors used in the Dan Ryan Expressway projects and is under no obligation to create or prepare a new record (in this case, a list) pursuant to the Illinois Freedom of Information Act."

Thank you, come again!

The Sun-Times notes that we do know of one subcontractor: Former Bear Roland Harper, whose Rohar Trucking made $22 million on the Ryan project. Harper later admitted that Rohar was a minority-contracting sham.

Meanwhile, the "Accountability" page of IDOT's website features a calculator and a photo of a construction worker. Just don't ask who the worker is or what exactly that disembodied hand is calculating. It's none of your business.

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