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Tunnel Linking State Building and City Hall Is Misaligned

June 2, 1989

CHICAGO (AP) _ The city and state often fail to see eye-to-eye and this time it’s costing $309,000 because tunnel links intended to connect a city and a state building don’t line up.

″It’s very embarrassing,″ said John C. Hill, a city architect. ″It’s like the railroad to nowhere not meeting or a bridge misaligned in mid-span because contractors at either end screwed up.

″Professionals aren’t supposed to make mistakes like this,″ Hill said Thursday.

The city hired contractors to build half of the pedway tunnel and the state had its own contractors handle the other half to link the two downtown buildings, City Hall and the State of Illinois Center.

The outcome: the state’s portion is 9 inches lower than the city’s segment. It also is off by 8 inches horizontally.

Chicago planners gave the state an elevation of 22 feet, 4 inches below ground level, but the state didn’t comply with the specifications, Hill said.

Frank J. Conroy, project executive for the state, said the misalignment was the city’s fault.

″They gave us an elevation to meet and we were right on the money. It’s the city’s problem. It’s not my problem,″ Conroy insisted.

Despite blaming the state, the city has picked up the $309,000 tab for the corrections, which include an extra stairway and an added elevator stop.

The tunnel, which has been delayed for various reasons for the past four years, is scheduled to open in September.

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