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Recovery Funds to be Used at O'Hare

By Kevin Robinson in News on Mar 31, 2009 3:40PM

2009_3_o_hare.jpg Mayor Daley and U.S. Senator Dick Durbin announced that O'Hare won a $12 million dollar grant for improvements to the airport, as part of the city's first economic recovery program. About $5 million of those funds will be used to replace runway pavement, and nearly $7 million will be used to widen a taxiway. "Both of these projects are important for the safe and efficient operation of this airport," Daley told CBS2. "They couldn't have been done at this time without the assistance of the federal grant." The mayor also pointed out that none of the funding will be used for the O'Hare Expansion Project, which is currently behind schedule and about $130 million over budget.

The project, which is expected to begin sometime this spring, is expected to create about 75 jobs. (For those of you doing the math, that's one hundred sixty thousand dollars per job.) Nevertheless, Daley was (sort of) enthusiastic about the funding. "It's better than nothing. Let's be realistic. These [projects] would have been put on the shelf, maybe not done," he told the Sun-Times. Speaking of job creation, the mayor also unveiled new tourism kiosks in the airport that tout the city's tourism website. Those kiosks replaced the jobs of 29 greeters at the airport that answered questions and handled translation services. "Technology has really changed that. You could get more information off this system than any one individual could have," the mayor said.

Photo by bhaggs