CHICAGO -- A plan to expand Chicago's O'Hare International Airport
moved to Congress Dec. 4.
Illinois Gov. George Ryan, one of many tapped by Congress to
reduce delays at one of the nation's busiest airports, sent
congressional leaders a plan that includes building an airfield
about 40 miles south of the city and keeping lakefront commuter
airport Meigs Field -- scheduled to close in February -- open for
25 more years.
It also included plans to begin building a controversial south
runway at O'Hare in 2011, a move that would mean the demolition of
about 500 homes.
The plan is almost identical to a deal between Ryan and Chicago
Mayor Richard Daley that recently fell apart over who would pay to
keep Meigs Field open.
The governor's plan calls for airlines, not the state, to
subsidize any deficit at the commuter airport by using fees they
collect at Midway and O'Hare.
According to published reports, Ryan moved ahead with his
proposal because "it's still hot," ' but noted that Congress is
unlikely to approve the project without Daley's support.
The plan is expected to cost about $6 billion.