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O'Hare Expansion Eats Up More Dollars And Land

By aaroncynic in News on Sep 7, 2010 8:20PM

Photo by Duane Rapp
The O’Hare expansion project which began in 2001 was estimated to cost $6.6 billion. The Tribune reports that cost grew by at least $1 billion in 2004 dollars and by the time the project is completed, will balloon to $15 billion. As Mayor Daley plans to issue $1 billion in bonds to help the financially floundering expansion, some city aldermen lead by Finance Committee Chariman Edward Burke (14th Ward) aren’t exactly pleased.

The Sun Times reports that Burke and others do not want to approve more money for the project when Chicagoans aren’t’ benefitting from the expansion in the form of jobs. Burke said “I don’t think the members of the City Council are prepared to give a blank check of $1 billion unless we can see that our voters, our constituents, are benefiting. I know the argument about how important it is to the region. . . It’s the economic engine that drives the whole Midwest. But either we have an ordinance that says 50 percent of employees have to reside in the city, or we don’t.”

In addition to gobbling up billions of dollars, the O’Hare expansion will also eat more land in neighboring Bensenville. WBEZ reports the city will be removing hundreds of homes and local businesses to make way for the expansion, because they can no longer afford to fight it due to economic reasons.