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simcityaustin Mar 2, 2009 5:04 AM

Chicago gets FAA approval to spend $182 million on O'Hare expansion design

Tribune staff report
March 1, 2009

Chicago has received the go-ahead to spend $182 million in airline passenger ticket taxes on design drawings for a possible future expansion of O'Hare International Airport, officials said Friday.

The Federal Aviation Administration on Thursday approved the use of the ticket taxes to pay for the design of two new runways, an extension to an existing runway and a planned western passenger terminal.

Although FAA approval will allow Chicago to begin design and engineering on the remaining elements of the $15 billion O'Hare project, the major airlines still refuse to help pay for construction.

The airlines have told Chicago that they oppose more spending on the project until a re-evaluation is completed.,3598745.story

simcityaustin Mar 23, 2009 7:58 PM

If people aren't opposed to genernal news here too....

American Upgrades Admirals Club Lounge At Chicago O'Hare
Mar 17, 2009 07:32 AM

American said it has completed extensive renovations to its largest Admirals Club lounge at Chicago O'Hare International Airport.

With seating for 504 customers, the 32,000-square-foot renovated Admirals Club lounge features a business center with 39 work stations and four PCs with high-speed Internet access; a walk-up cyber cafe with four PCs with high-speed Internet access; complimentary high-speed Wi-Fi access for Admirals Club members, as well as guests using a one-day pass to access the O'Hare Admirals Club facilities; and complimentary coffee, tea, soft drinks, juices and light snacks, in addition to bar services and food for purchase through the enhanced Amora food and beverage program, among other services.

Link to Story

O'Hare gets $12 million in stimulus cash
Published: 3/20/2009

Some economic stimulus cash will be trickling down to O'Hare International Airport. About $12.3 million from the federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act is slated for the airport, which is in the midst of a massive expansion plan, U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin announced Thursday. The money will be used to repair an existing runway at O'Hare. About $1.1 billion was set aside in the stimulus package for airport modernization projects. "Rehabilitation of this runway will put Illinoisans to work immediately on a project that will contribute to the long-term ability of the O'Hare airport to serve travelers efficiently," Durbin said in a statement.

Link to Website

jpIllInoIs Mar 27, 2009 2:04 PM

O'Hare expansion divides hopefuls
Finally some sanity in Bensenville as Village Attorney Frank Soto plans to take on John "don't meigs with us" Geils for the village Presidency.,2471278.story

By James Kimberly | Tribune reporter March 27, 2009
The specter of an expanding O'Hare International Airport is ever-present in Bensenville, as are the low-flying jets that take off and land from some of the busiest runways in the nation.

At the city limits, attached to the "Welcome to Bensenville" signs are big photographs of Chicago Mayor Richard Daley and the phrase, "Don't Meigs With Us," a reference to the downtown Chicago island airport Daley surreptitiously closed in 2003.

In the lobby of Village Hall, a videotape of Bensenville leaders at a news conference blasting the O'Hare Modernization Program plays on a loop.

Even the re-election signs for President John Geils, who is seeking a seventh term in the April 7 election, have a picture of an airplane with a circle and slash over it.

Soto, 43, believes Geils has been too singularly focused on O'Hare to the detriment of other issues in town. He said he has been knocking on doors and listening to people and that the O'Hare project is not very high on people's list of concerns.

"It isn't the first," Soto insists. "It's about the third."

Bensenville residents are more concerned about the same things that people far from the airport are concerned about—property taxes, water rates and the quality of roads and schools, he said.

Soto, an attorney who specializes in worker's compensation cases and civil litigation, grew up in Wood Dale and has lived in Bensenville nearly all his adult life. He is seeking office, he said, because he is concerned about the direction the village is headed.

Fighting the expansion of O'Hare is a losing battle, he said. The village would be better served to accept the inevitable and sit at the table with Chicago officials to negotiate terms beneficial to the community.
Bensenville should be talking about flight patterns and replacement tax dollars and maybe some state or federal money to help the local district build new schools, he said.

"The concept that we don't want to control our own destiny is going to hurt us the next four or five years, because that's when these critical decisions are going to be made," Soto said.

Geils, a fourth-generation Bensenville resident, and his family run a funeral home on York Road. Even so, he had to prove he lives in his home at 208 York Rd. in Bensenville to fend off an objection to his candidacy. During the hearings, Geils acknowledged that he spends as many as four days a week at a family resort in Green Lake, WI

Chicago Shawn Mar 27, 2009 7:53 PM

^That is good news, hopefully his common sense will prevail. Bensinville has a golden opportunity to turn themselves into a second Rosemont, perfectly positioned between the new western gateway terminal and expressway extension and the Metra Station in downtown. They could be attracting a swarm of new investment and wealth but no, the current leadership has been just hell bent on fighting a battle they already lost, and bankrupting themselves in the process.

BVictor1 Mar 30, 2009 5:55 PM

Mar 30, 2009 12:52 pm US/Central

Federal Stimulus Money Flowing To O'Hare
Money Will Put People To Work On Existing Runway

CHICAGO (CBS) ― Chicago aviation officials say O'Hare International Airport will get $12 million in federal stimulus money to help improve existing infrastructure, but not for the O'Hare expansion project.

Officials, including U.S. Sen. Richard Durbin (D-Ill.), announced the money on Monday.

They say more than $5 million will be used to replace runway pavement and almost $7 million will be used to widen a taxiway.

But as for the ongoing expansion project, Rosemarie Andolino, head of the O'Hare Modernization Program, says FAA criteria bar the $15 billion project from receiving stimulus money.

One new runway opened at O'Hare in November in project's first phase.
Officials envision another runway and terminal by 2014, but the airport doesn't have funding for the second phase.

Other transportation will also benefit when the stimulus money comes in. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act provides $1.3 billion for Amtrak projects nationwide, of which $80 million will be invested in Illinois.

Amtrak will use the money to rehabilitate locomotives and return train coaches to service. Amtrak officials say the funding will improve reliability during Chicago's changing seasons.

The Chicago Transit Authority will also benefit from the stimulus package. Money from the package will also go toward repairs to part of the CTA Blue Line from Washington Street to Damen Avenue. The CTA will also invest new hybrid buses.

nomarandlee Mar 31, 2009 5:13 AM


O'Hare: Computer kiosks replace laid-off greeters
Mayor Richard Daley says he's satisfied with $12 million in stimulus money for O'Hare expansion

By Dan Mihalopoulos | Tribune reporter
March 31, 2009
Fifty new computer tourism "kiosks" will be installed throughout O'Hare International Airport, Mayor Richard Daley announced Monday.

Travelers at the airport will be able to use the touch screen-computers to access the city's 2-month-old tourism site,

The computers, which provide information in several languages, will provide many functions once performed by the red-jacketed greeters the Daley administration recently laid off to help address the city's budget deficit.

"Technology has really changed that," Daley said at a news conference at the airport. "This gives more information than any people can have. You can get more information off this system than any one individual could have at O'Hare Field."

Daley said most of the $315,000 cost will be covered by Hewlett-Packard, which manufactured the computers.

Daley's 2009 budget cut the positions of 29 airport customer service representatives who had translated and answered questions for passengers for decades.

Laying off the greeters, who were paid annual salaries of between $38,000 and $58,000, will result in savings of about $2 million, city officials said...........

ardecila Apr 1, 2009 3:20 AM

$12 million is peanuts for something as complex and expensive as O'Hare Airport. I don't even know why they're reporting about it. It's basically just filling potholes... really really expensive potholes.

samoen313 Apr 7, 2009 1:27 AM

The new runway configuration is integral, that makes a lot of sense. I'm a little mystified by the immediate drive for a new terminal complex though. Granted, I don't regularly transit through ORD and haven't done any number-crunching. But given evidence in the articles above, why do they need a whole new complex before 2014?

UA has a tidy complex to itself and there seems to be a multitude of gates in Terminal 3 for AA. If CO moves to Terminal 1 and DL to Terminal 2 and judging from the articles, there are certainly some underused gates especially now in the downturn. If they have a fairly large, new international terminal, then who would they be building an entirely new terminal complex for?

Would UA or AA ditch their respective homes for a brand new building? Would it be for the sake of slowly paring down the east terminal complex for future redevelopment? Questions, questions.

I can see the long-term viability (they could rearrange the terminals for an ATL type setup eventually if they eliminate the NW/SE runways), but wouldn't it just be best to keep the area free of runways and develop the area in the future once it is needed and focus on runways for now?

Berwyn Apr 7, 2009 1:58 AM

Have they started demolition in Bensenville yet?

Also, since a large portion of their industrial tax base is being taken out, is there any plans for annexation?

spyguy Apr 8, 2009 3:32 AM

Sanity prevails

Voters dump mayors in Palatine, Lyons, Carpentersville, Bensenville and Waukegan
Posted by Tribune staff; last updated at 10:24 p.m.

BENSENVILLE: Challenger Frank Soto claimed victory tonight over longtime Mayor John Geils based on early returns in a village where the expansion of O'Hare International Airport continues to loom as an issue. With 11 of 14 precincts in, Soto had 70 percent.

bnk Apr 8, 2009 3:47 AM


Wow! nice to see some NIMBY leaders getting their azzes kicked.

This is a good sign and lesson for future azzhole NIB's.

honte Apr 8, 2009 4:10 AM

Holy cow. Must be the immigrants. ;)

Best news I've heard for a week.

jpIllInoIs Apr 8, 2009 1:16 PM

Bensenville leadership changes
Not only did Frank Soto, challenger for Bensenville Village President cruise to a landslide victory, but so did all 4 challengers for Village Board seats and also the Village Clerk. A wholesale sweep of the old politics.

Berwyn Apr 8, 2009 5:26 PM


Originally Posted by jpIllInoIs (Post 4184203)
Not only did Frank Soto, challenger for Bensenville Village President cruise to a landslide victory, but so did all 4 challengers for Village Board seats and also the Village Clerk. A wholesale sweep of the old politics.

Great Fucking News!

FlashingLights Apr 8, 2009 5:43 PM

I'm so glad that Palatine mayor that tried to secede from Cook County is out. What a total joke of a mayor. Same with the Bensenville NIMBY.

honte Apr 8, 2009 6:26 PM

^ The new guy, the football guy, was on NPR this morning saying he'd like to do the same... if he could figure out how.

ardecila Apr 8, 2009 6:49 PM


Originally Posted by FlashingLights (Post 4184649)
I'm so glad that Palatine mayor that tried to secede from Cook County is out. What a total joke of a mayor. Same with the Bensenville NIMBY.

Yet an advisory referendum to secede from Cook County passed with over 60% of the vote in Barrington, Palatine, and Hanover Townships. :yuck:

bnk Apr 9, 2009 12:02 AM


Originally Posted by jpIllInoIs (Post 4184203)
Not only did Frank Soto, challenger for Bensenville Village President cruise to a landslide victory, but so did all 4 challengers for Village Board seats and also the Village Clerk. A wholesale sweep of the old politics.

from the article:notacrook:


Soto criticized Geils for costly legal fees to fight Chicago for what the challenger considered, in part, a lost battle. Rather, Soto promised voters he'd fight to protect the village from negative impacts of expansion while securing maximum financial benefits and new jobs.

Geils, village president since 1985, was thought by many to be unbeatable. His "Home Town Party" slate criticized Soto's stance on O'Hare, suggesting the challenger was "throwing in the towel" rather than standing up to fight.

the urban politician Apr 9, 2009 1:31 AM

^ Not to get off topic, but I'd love to see somebody come in and streamroll Pat Levar like that in the next Aldermanic elections

nomarandlee Apr 9, 2009 1:43 AM

Somewhat contradicting Bensenville also voted to "keep up the fight" with stopping O'Hare expansion last night. So that either tells that disgust with the mayor went beyond O'Hare, that people want to fight but make a settlement, or it was a save face type vote.
*Bensenville: continue fighting against O'Hare expansion. Yes 1,422 No 1,180 (11 of 14 precincts, advisory only)

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