Chief among Chicago's promises a decade ago when it laid out plans for O'Hare Airport expansion was a 50-gate terminal on the airport's western edge. Northwest suburbs gradually dropped their opposition to the expansion as visions of an economic boom danced in their heads, made possible by the western terminal and its access roads: The completed Elgin-O'Hare Expressway and a new highway bypassing the airport on the western edge connecting I-294 on the south and I-90 on the north.
Having watched Rosemont and communities on the east enjoy huge economic benefits from the O'Hare, the northwest suburbs expected to eventually see offices, stores and more pop up like mushrooms on their side of the airport.
Well, that promise and vision evaporated on Friday when Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced a new O'Hare expansion plan that pointedly left out any consideration of the western terminal and access. It verifies the criticism that former Bensenville Mayor John Geils and other opposition leaders made of the western terminal. There were so many problems with it, they warned that it wold never be built. It was opposed by United and American airlines, the two dominate airlines at O'Hare. The two would be asked to help finance a facility that could increase competition. No other airlines would want to use because it was isolated-- too far away from the main terminal for connecting passengers.
Additional gates are essential of O'Hare is ever to meet its desired capacity, so Emanuel came up with a different plan. Add nine new gates at the International Terminal and, sometime in the future, tear down Terminal 2 and replace it with a dozens of new gates. Of course, there's no guarantee that the Terminal 2 idea will ever be realized, just like so many of the goals of the original expansion plan.
More on that:
- O'Hare's stinky reputation worsens
- Chicago's airlines determined to make O'Hare Airport, well, just okay.
- Here's another big, fat told-ya-so for O'Hare's stinky expansion.
- O'Hare runway expansion fails to reduce delays
- Another fine mess, brought to you by O'Hare Airport expansion.
- Chicago to O'Hare noise complainers: Nuts to you.
- The predicted unraveling of O'Hare expansion.
Read why Americans need to learn about the nation's most ignored war.
Find out what freelance editorial services I can provide for you.
Want to be notified by email when I post? Type your email address in the box and click the "create subscription" button. My list is completely spam free, and you can opt out at any time.