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$248 Million Revamp Could Shorten Security Lines At Midway Airport

By Jim Bochnowski in News on Aug 6, 2015 7:50PM

Midway Airport is finally getting much-needed upgrades, with a $248 million revamp that will address parking, concessions and, finally, security lines.

Midway has a long history of lagging behind its bigger brother, O'Hare International Airport, but improvements have been desperately needed for quite some time so that, at the very least, security lines won't be a mile long any more during peak travel times. O'Hare's International Terminal's concessions wereupgraded in 2012and Mayor Rahm Emanuel said making similar changes to Midway was a priority for his second term.

As Emanuel told the Sun-Times in May:

"There's a lesson to be learned by what I did at the international terminal. Today, O'Hare has the single best international terminal in the United States. It looks and feels like it should. Airports today are changing. They are destinations.... I want them to be like Chicago so the 60 million people coming in and out say, 'That's Chicago.'"

To that end, today, the Mayor's office has released a $248 million plan to radically remodel Midway airport. This plan includes a new 80,000 square foot security hall that will expand the number of checkpoints in order to reduce the potential for bottlenecks getting into the actual terminals. The improvements will also include an additional 20,000 square feet of concession space with the goal of showcasing "the best of Chicago’s world-renowned restaurant scene," according to Aviation Department spokesman Owen Kilmer.

Midway will also add four floors to its parking garage that will come to "1,400 more premium parking spaces." This upgrade comes on the heels of yesterday's announcement that Midway-area homes will receive $10 million in federal grants for additional soundproofing.