Chicago aldermen demand IDOT clean up filthy expressways

It's bad enough being stuck in traffic on the expressway. But even if you're going the speed limit, you can't miss the garbage piled up along the highways.

Now, Chicago aldermen are calling on the state to clean up the ugly mess.

"I mean it looks like a garbage dump. And it's embarrassing. It's embarrassing for us as a world class city to have this eyesore,” said Alderman Matthew O’Shea.

The Eisenhower Expressway is really bad, but virtually every Chicago area expressway has trash troubles.

FOX 32 went on a scavenger hunt and found plastic bottles, booze bottles, beer bottles, beer cans, beer cases, fast food, cereal boxes, pizza boxes, clothing, shoes, hats, a pillow, bedding, and even a Christmas tree.

And of course political signs – lots of political signs.

"You know, Dane, this has been an almost two-year issue for me,” said Alderman Pat Dowell.

Dowell, whose ward includes the Dan Ryan, says aldermen are frustrated because it's not their jurisdiction but they get the complaints.

The expressways are owned and maintained by the Illinois Department of Transportation.

"I met with IDOT at least twice. I've got them on email speed dial. And there's been no improvement,” Dowell said.

IDOT admits it's a mess, but says they're doing the best they can do with limited resources: "(Crews) are responsible for multiple duties, including snow removal, pothole patching, graffiti removal, guard rail repairs, (and) picking litter.....There will be more of that activity in the days and weeks to come."

Indeed, you can't just blame the state.

"Communities, citizens need to take ownership. And it's just not happening. It's frustrating,” O’Shea said.