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New tower and runway open at O'Hare despite pushback

Written by
Cynthia Robinson

This morning, a new air traffic control tower and runway opened at O'Hare International Airport on the south airfield. It will be used as an arrival runway and should "substantially improve O'Hare's capacity and efficiency," according to a press release from the Mayor's press office. The project was put through in part to cut down on delays at O'Hare and enable Chicago to compete in a global economy.

With a $516 million price tag, the new development has received a good deal of pushback, with opponents saying the project wasn't worth the hefty sum of money from taxpayers. A report from the Better Government Association noted that the runway will only handle about 5 percent of O'Hare's traffic, and that Northwest Side residents worry the noise pollution will affect their quality of life and property values. 

Vice President of Government and Airport Affairs for American Airlines Michael Minerva said the airline agreed to the project on the grounds it would be completed before the 2015 World Series, you know, just in case we need the extra capacity.

Here's hoping. 

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