Kennedy Women: Construction workers on the Kennedy Expressway, 1993

Construction season is upon us again, and the Kennedy Expressway is about to get hit with some serious lane closures over the next few weekends, with the first round starting this evening. It’s part of the project to replace Ontario Street Bridge, and it’s expected to cause major traffic disruptions.

The frustration of road construction is nothing new to Chicagoans, but we often don’t spend much time thinking about the people on the other side of the orange cones. That’s why Skip Blumberg and Tom Weinberg went out to interview some of the women working on a Kennedy construction project back in 1993 for a running segment for the TV series Chicago Slices.

At the time, they were doing major work just south of the junction with Edens. It helped to alleviate bottlenecks in the area, but it took months and a lot of people were unhappy.

The segment was called “Kennedy Women,” and it ran in four episodes, profiling a different woman each week. We’ve taken the raw footage and compiled a shorter collection with all four women, including some footage not used in the original broadcast.

Watch a full half hour of Chicago Slices as it was broadcast on WPWR (Channel 50) in 1993 or explore more from the Chicago Slices collection at Media Burn.



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