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Chicago

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Author Topic: Chicago  (Read 2831 times)
Christa Loecher
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« on: April 26, 2009, 04:03:31 am »

Infrastructure and regional development

The city began its step toward regional primacy as an important transportation hub between the eastern and western United States. Chicago’s first railway, Galena and Chicago Union Railroad, opened in 1838, which also marked the opening of the Illinois and Michigan Canal. The canal allowed steamboats and sailing ships on the Great Lakes to connect to the Mississippi River. A flourishing economy brought residents from rural communities and immigrants abroad. Manufacturing and retail sectors became dominant among Midwestern cities, influencing the American economy, particularly in meatpacking, with the advent of the refrigerated rail car and the regional centrality of the city's Union Stock Yards.[12]

In February 1856, the Chesbrough plan for the building of Chicago's and the United States' first comprehensive sewerage system was approved by the Common Council.[13] The project raised much of central Chicago to a new grade. Untreated sewage and industrial waste now flowed into the Chicago River, thence into Lake Michigan, polluting the primary source of fresh water for the city. The city responded by tunneling two miles (3 km) out into Lake Michigan to newly built water cribs. In 1900, the problem of sewage was largely resolved when Chicago reversed the flow of the river, a process that began with the construction and improvement of the Illinois and Michigan Canal and completed with the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal leading to the Illinois River which joins the Mississippi River.

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