Judge to Rule on O'Hare

November 15, 2005



A federal judge Wednesday could allow Chicago to begin demolishing homes that lie in the path of the city's O'Hare Airport expansion project.

Nearly two weeks ago, the judge ordered the city to shut down the bulldozers, shortly after the Federal Aviation Administration gave its approval of the airport project.

The temporary restraining order was the latest and most effective in the legal arsenal of the expansion's opponents. It forced the city to stop demolition of hundreds of homes and an old cemetery, delaying part of the $15 billion project.

The restraining order has been in effect since Nov. 3.

DePaul University aviation expert Joe Schwieterman says opponents have been fortunate to have sympathetic judges along the way, but guesses the worst is over for the city.

Schwieterman says the city can't afford any more delays because they drive up costs, and leave the airlines feeling less enthusiastic about a project that hasn't run smoothly.