For decades, transportation planners, politicians and others have been talking about relieving the jam-packed O’Hare Airport by building a new one in the south suburbs. Under the leadership of Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr., Bensenville, Elk Grove Village and others, a private investor/builder/operator was found to partner with government, to the extent that it would cost the public virtually nothing when compared with O’Hare Airport expansion.
Former Mayor Richard M. Daley saw the new airport as a threat to his motherlode of jobs and contracts at O’Hare so he pulled every political lever that he could to halt the new airport’s progress.
Now comes Illinois’ new GOP Sen. Mark Kirk who gave a speech supporting public-private partnerships, including for airports, because federal transportation money was so tight. But when he was asked if he supported the South Suburban Airport, he seemed to enter a trance. He would not commit to it.
This is inexcusable and hypocritical. It also raises the question of whether Illinois’ political establishment is determined to keep Daley’s brick on the new airport.
Read more details in this excellent column by Phil Kadner of the Southtown Star.