CHICAGO — Private dollars will pay for building former President Barack Obama’s library, but road and other work near the Chicago site could cost taxpayers.
The city’s transportation department estimates that the cost of widening streets and building at least four new underpasses near the site in Jackson Park may total $175 million. The city says it is pursuing “all potential funding options” for the work, including state dollars.
In January, more than 100 University of Chicago faculty members signed a letter urging the Obama Foundation to find a different location for the center. One complaint was the taxpayer money that would be spent on infrastructure.
An Illinois Department of Transportation spokesman says the state spent $100 million on the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library in Springfield, which opened in 2005.