The neighborhhod I grew up in, Jeffery Manor/South Deering is just north of where many steel mills and steel-related operations dotted the landscape for several decades. Starting in the 1980’s they began to shut down, including Wisconsin Steel at 106th & Torrence. The ACME coke plant chugged along and closed in the 1990’s. These facilities, coupled with a city incinerator on 103rd street gave the neighborhood a very unpleasant odor. The incenerator thankfully was bulldozed and turned into a city impund lot, and the neighborhood didn’t smell so bad anymore. You can imagine my disappointment when I found out an asphalt factory was being erected on a portion of the Wisconsin Steel site. I told my mother the neighborhood was going to start stinking again and gave her the information I got off of the city’s website. Mind you, the site is across the street from and aging, but well populated communnity. I wonder how they feel? Did they think they were free from the stink when all the mills and factories were shuttered?
The plant is not up and running yet, but I suppose we will all smell the first day of business. Driving past the pouring of asphalt on the street is bad enough, but having to live across the street from it must be horrendus. Perhaps asphalt doesn’t smell while it’s being made, but maybe that’s just wishful thinking.