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July 2010

On The Road to a Virtual Voyage!

I figured a  “Throwback Thursday” would be a most appropriate time to wax nostalgic and invite you to join me on my next virtual vacation!  This weekend I will set off on a wondrous adventure “across the pond”  touring southern England!  As if that weren’t fabulous enough, I’m traveling with my daughter Sara, just the two of us, as her graduation gift before she heads off to college next month! 

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  During my 25+ years at ABC7, many of you have watched Sara grow up over the years - here’s the nostalgic part - and during that time she has become an incredible traveler! 








She took her first cruise before she was 2 - at 4, she was climbing pyramids in Mexico!

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At 6, Sara accompanied me and my Mom on a trip to Spain - 3 generations in our mother country! At 10, Sara was sightseeing through ancient Greece; at 12 she experienced the glaciers of Alaska!

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                         Alaska july 26 to aug 5 2008 146 (2)


I took her to President Obama’s first inauguration - we explored the holy land together with members of our congregation.

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I chaperoned a high school choir trip to Ireland, and back in the states we took road trips to our national parks and the entire stretch of Rt. 66!  Sara’s 18th birthday with a destination party to the “Happiest Place on Earth!”

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I now invite you to join us on our next adventure, as I share our discoveries in London and many other historic places in the UK.  We arrive at Heathrow Airport Monday August 4th; posts on Facebook and Twitter soon to follow!  As this is an “interactive vacation,” feel free to make suggestions, ask questions or give advice - this is the first time in the UK for both of us!

 https://www.facebook.com/RozVaronABC7   https://twitter.com/rozvaronABC7 

One more thing - a heartfelt thanks to my incredibly understanding husband for giving Sara and I this special bonding time while he stays at home.  Besides, someone has to watch the dogs, right?!


Bon Voyage!




On The Road to The Return of Construction

I can't begin to tell you how many people commented to me during the recent laborers strike, that driving on the Eisenhower sans construction was like a little slice of heaven!  To be honest, it made my life easier too, driving into the city at 3:00 am and not having to deal with overnight lane closures and delays. But I also knew, the longer the strike went on, we the motorists would pay for it at the back end.

Fortunately things were resolved within 3 weeks, and road crews are back on the job. Transportation agencies are assessing the damage this delay has had on project completion dates. I spoke with Eugene Joynt, IDOT's Bureau Chief of Construction, about the affect the work stoppage will have on major construction projects.

When I last spoke to IDOT, I was told 3 weeks wouldn't be enough of a delay to carry over projects into 2011. Is that still the case?

"The strike was't long enough to push the major projects into 2011."

How far into the year has the strike pushed those major projects (Eisenhower resurfacing and Congress Bridge reconstruction)?

"The revised completion date will be around Thanksgiving."

What will be the biggest impact to motorists as contractors try to catch up?

"The biggest impact to motorists will be southbound Rt. 53 into the inbound I-290, but this was in the plan - just different timing."

Will contractors be penalized with late fees for running past the scheduled completion date?

"Liquidated damages will be assess for contracts that are not completed within the allowed contract time. In accordance with our standard specifications applicable to all our contracts, if delays resulting from strikes or labor disruptions extending more than 5 calendar days, then the contractor is entitled to an extension of time. Since the strike lasted nearly 3 weeks, the contractors would receive and extension of time due to the strike."

What major contracts off the expressways will be most impacted by the strike?

"159th Street in Harvey and IL 59 in Shorewood/Joliet in Will County. 159th St. has extensive coordination with Metra and the CN RR and we are trying to complete pavement work prior to winter, as 159th St. has been closed with a detour for over a year.

IL 59 was previously delayed by utilities and there is a triple box culvert that needs to be constructed and new lanes paved. The schedule was very tight to get traffic on new lanes prior to the strike and we will need some help with the weather to complete it."

If you have questions about the strike's impact on roadwork in your area, post it on my blog and I'll try to get you an answer!