WBEZ | O'Hare Airport http://www.wbez.org/tags/ohare-airport Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Chicago's Rosemont Corridor http://www.wbez.org/blogs/john-r-schmidt/2013-01/chicagos-rosemont-corridor-105151 <p><p>You can find a little bit of Chicago in the strangest places.</p><p>In 1945 the federal government transferred 1,080 acres of land near Mannheim and Higgins to the City of Chicago. The site was to be used for a new commercial airfield, the future O&rsquo;Hare.</p><p>Though Chicago held title to the airport land, the site itself was a few miles beyond the city limits. That fact might cause legal complications--could&nbsp;the Chicago police even issue parking tickets?&nbsp;Early in 1956, the city council opened hearings on annexing unincorporated land between the city and the airport.</p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Foster%20corridor.JPG" title="Foster Avenue--Chicago's 'Rosemont Corridor'" /></div><div class="image-insert-image ">Part of the plan was to annex forest preserve&nbsp;acreage along the Des Plaines River. The Cook County Board was controlled by Chicago Democrats, so that would be easily done.&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">At the same time, the city was going to annex a 66-foot-wide strip of Higgins Road. This narrow corridor would stretch from the&nbsp;existing Chicago border (Canfield Avenue) to the airport land (Mannheim Road). Chicago would then have a physical link with O&rsquo;Hare.&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">Meanwhile,&nbsp;out on the prairie, the homesteaders in Park Ridge and Des Plaines were alarmed. Those city slickers were invading their territory. What would happen to their peaceful country&nbsp;lives?</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">Now both Park Ridge and Des Plaines began their own annexations, trying to block Chicago&rsquo;s land grab. The newly-incorporated village of Rosemont followed suit. To help things along, Leyden Township officials volunteered to co-ordinate the new suburban&nbsp;borders.</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">Mayor Richard J. Daley of Chicago&nbsp;wasn&rsquo;t about to let a few little hamlets interfere with the greater good of his city. Daley&nbsp;met behind closed doors with officials from the rebellious suburbs on March 28<sup>th</sup>. When the meeting ended,&nbsp;the mayor&nbsp;announced that the matter was settled, and the Chicago annexation would go forward.</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">By virtue of that strip along Higgins&mdash;which was only 33-feet wide in some places&mdash;O&rsquo;Hare was now connected to the City of Chicago. But the solution was only temporary. In 1959, in a different case, the Illinois Supreme Court questioned the legality of such &ldquo;shoestring&rdquo; annexations.</div><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Otto Avenue looking toward Rosemont.JPG" title="Otto Avenue in Chicago, view toward Rosemont border" /></div><div class="image-insert-image ">Daley didn&rsquo;t wait for the court to take up the Higgins annexation.&nbsp; He reached a deal with Rosemont to swop the Higgins strip for a 185-foot wide strip along Foster Avenue, on Rosemont&rsquo;s southern border. Now the matter really was settled.&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">Today there&rsquo;s nothing to identify the little corridor along Foster as part of Chicago, except for a few city street lights. The old suburban street signs are still in place. And in a final bit of irony, the Rosemont land to the north has undergone massive redevelopment, while the Chicago land is occupied by single-story industrial buildings.</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp;</div></p> Mon, 04 Feb 2013 07:15:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/john-r-schmidt/2013-01/chicagos-rosemont-corridor-105151 O'Hare expansion deal to focus on south end of airport http://www.wbez.org/story/expansion/ohare-expansion-deal-focus-south-end-airport <p><p>Part of the O'Hare International Airport expansion has been given the green light. Part of the big goal in expanding O'Hare is to construct runways that are parallel to each other and don't criss-cross. The airport is the second-busiest in the country, and city officials have said Chicago's economy would suffer without updating the airport.</p><p>Joe Schwieterman is a professor of transportation at DePaul University. He said the $1.17 billion agreement between the federal government, the City of Chicago, and two major airlines could resolve one of the trickiest parts of the expansion on the airport's south side.</p><p>&quot;The city pulled something off here that is pretty impressive,&quot;&nbsp;Schwieterman said. &quot;They got the federal government to ante up, they got the airlines to stand in unison so that critical south runway can move forward. That's a huge payoff.&quot;</p><p>Officials have proposed adding a runway and relocating major roads on the south end of the airport. The parties involved in the expansion say they will negotiate the rest of the modernization plans in two years.<br />&nbsp;</p></p> Tue, 15 Mar 2011 10:01:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/expansion/ohare-expansion-deal-focus-south-end-airport February snowfall is inching up to a record high http://www.wbez.org/story/national-weather-service/february-snowfall-inching-record-high <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/snowfall.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>February in Chicago&mdash;okay, you&rsquo;d expect a lot of snow.&nbsp;But this year we're almost at the record. The February snowfall record was set in 1896 when the city got almost 28 inches. So far this year we've had about 26. Richard Castro is a meteorologist with the National Weather Service. He said it's too soon to put away the shovels.</p><p>&ldquo;After all, it is February and things could change right back to where they&rsquo;ve been for most of the winter season, which is cold and snowy,&rdquo; he said.&rdquo; &ldquo;We still have plenty of time for the rest of the month to get that 1.8 inches of snow to tie, and if we get two inches we break the record.&rdquo;</p> <div>Castro says there's no snow expected right now. He says it's likely temperatures will drop below zero over the next few days. But he says after that we can expect temperatures above freezing for the rest of the week. Castro says snowfall may be above average this year for February, but it&rsquo;s on par for average snowfall for the season, which stretches from December to February. So far 53.3 inches have been recorded at O&rsquo;Hare since December.</div></p> Tue, 08 Feb 2011 23:30:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/national-weather-service/february-snowfall-inching-record-high Daley, airlines struggle to reach compromise on expanding O'Hare http://www.wbez.org/story/american-airlines/daley-airlines-struggle-reach-compromise-expanding-ohare <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/ohare_0.jpg" alt="" /><p><p><!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <w:WordDocument> <w:View>Normal</w:View> <w:Zoom>0</w:Zoom> <w:PunctuationKerning /> <w:ValidateAgainstSchemas /> <w:SaveIfXMLInvalid>false</w:SaveIfXMLInvalid> <w:IgnoreMixedContent>false</w:IgnoreMixedContent> <w:AlwaysShowPlaceholderText>false</w:AlwaysShowPlaceholderText> <w:Compatibility> <w:BreakWrappedTables /> <w:SnapToGridInCell /> <w:WrapTextWithPunct /> <w:UseAsianBreakRules /> <w:DontGrowAutofit /> </w:Compatibility> <w:BrowserLevel>MicrosoftInternetExplorer4</w:BrowserLevel> </w:WordDocument> </xml><![endif]--><!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <w:LatentStyles DefLockedState="false" LatentStyleCount="156"> </w:LatentStyles> </xml><![endif]--><!--[if !mso]><object classid="clsid:38481807-CA0E-42D2-BF39-B33AF135CC4D" id=ieooui></object> <style> st1\:*{behavior:url(#ieooui) } </style> <![endif]--><!--[if gte mso 10]> <style> /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:10.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-ansi-language:#0400; mso-fareast-language:#0400; mso-bidi-language:#0400;} </style> <![endif]--></p><p class="MsoNormal">The blizzard that rocked the Midwest this week brought most air travel to a standstill at some of the country&rsquo;s busiest airports. Particularly in Chicago, where the city has been trying to lock in funding for a major expansion of O&rsquo;Hare International Airport. But the project has run into some problems at the earliest of stages.</p><p class="MsoNormal"><!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <w:WordDocument> <w:View>Normal</w:View> <w:Zoom>0</w:Zoom> <w:PunctuationKerning /> <w:ValidateAgainstSchemas /> <w:SaveIfXMLInvalid>false</w:SaveIfXMLInvalid> <w:IgnoreMixedContent>false</w:IgnoreMixedContent> <w:AlwaysShowPlaceholderText>false</w:AlwaysShowPlaceholderText> <w:Compatibility> <w:BreakWrappedTables /> <w:SnapToGridInCell /> <w:WrapTextWithPunct /> <w:UseAsianBreakRules /> <w:DontGrowAutofit /> </w:Compatibility> <w:BrowserLevel>MicrosoftInternetExplorer4</w:BrowserLevel> </w:WordDocument> </xml><![endif]--><!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <w:LatentStyles DefLockedState="false" LatentStyleCount="156"> </w:LatentStyles> </xml><![endif]--><!--[if !mso]><object classid="clsid:38481807-CA0E-42D2-BF39-B33AF135CC4D" id=ieooui></object> <style> st1\:*{behavior:url(#ieooui) } </style> <![endif]--><!--[if gte mso 10]> <style> /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:10.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-ansi-language:#0400; mso-fareast-language:#0400; mso-bidi-language:#0400;} </style> <![endif]--></p><p class="MsoNormal">For years, Chicago Mayor Richard Daley has been pushing for an expansion of O&rsquo;Hare Airport: $6.6 billion dollars worth of expansion. With that whopping pricetag, Daley&rsquo;s looking for some financial help from the two biggest airlines at O&rsquo;Hare: United and American.</p><p class="MsoNormal">The CEOs of those two airlines were supposed to meet with Daley behind closed doors&nbsp;Thursday, but that meeting was canceled. The airlines blamed the blizzard.</p><p class="MsoNormal">In true Daley fashion, he told reporters he thinks they&rsquo;re avoiding him.</p><p class="MsoNormal">&quot;They said, &ldquo;No.&rdquo; Monday, they said, &ldquo;No.&rdquo; Then Tuesday they said, &ldquo;No.&rdquo; And Wednesday they said, &ldquo;No.&rdquo; Then Tuesday they said, &ldquo;No.&rdquo; And Wednesday they said, &ldquo;No,&rdquo;<span style=""> Daley said.&nbsp;</span></p><p class="MsoNormal">Daley said after all those negotiations just to set up a meeting, they finally settled on a date.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">&quot;I made another exception. The only time I&rsquo;ve ever made an exception in 22 years,&quot;&nbsp;Daley said. &quot;I said, &ldquo;How about that Sunday?&rdquo; And they said, &ldquo;No.&rdquo; I said, &ldquo;How about Monday?&rdquo; They said &ldquo;No.&rdquo; Then they&rsquo;re doing it I think Tuesday &ndash; we think so.&quot;</p> <p class="MsoNormal">If you&rsquo;ve lost track, that Tuesday is later in the month. It&rsquo;s one week before Chicago&rsquo;s election day. That is the first election day in 22 years that won&rsquo;t have Richard M. Daley&rsquo;s name on the ballot. So the airlines will be negotiating with a lame duck.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">Daley&rsquo;s rant comes as the issue between the city and the airlines has reached a new boiling point. He says a modernized O&rsquo;Hare would secure the city&rsquo;s future as a transportation icon.</p><p class="MsoNormal">As it is, United and American account for 80 percent of daily flights at O&rsquo;Hare. More than 1,000 flights a day just between the two of them. For their part, the airlines haven&rsquo;t said much publicly. At least, not since they sued the city to stop the expansion project a few weeks ago. From their perspective, there isn&rsquo;t enough air traffic at this time to demand an O&rsquo;Hare expansion. Plus, they say O&rsquo;Hare is already one of the costliest airports in the country and making it bigger would just make it more expensive.</p><p class="MsoNormal">&quot;Everybody knows that we can&rsquo;t go back to the bad old days of the late &lsquo;90s where O&rsquo;Hare was just being avoided by travelers,&quot;&nbsp;said Joe Schwieterman, a transportation professor at DePaul University. &quot;Airlines were facing tens of millions of dollars in costs because of congestion.&quot;</p><p class="MsoNormal">Schwieterman said having only United and American involved in discussions gives them a competitive advantage. Other airlines like Southwest don&rsquo;t even look at O&rsquo;Hare, but stay focused on Midway Airport. Schwieterman said negotiations between the two sides are dicey</p><p class="MsoNormal">&quot;These are big companies, big organizations and some big egos involved,&quot;&nbsp;he said.&nbsp;</p><p class="MsoNormal">But there are at least two people who think they can manage those egos: Illinois&rsquo; two U.S. senators.</p><p class="MsoNormal">Democratic U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin said time is of the essence.</p><p class="MsoNormal">&quot;I think some of them would wait until the delays are just intolerable and then say, &lsquo;Now lets build.&rsquo; You&rsquo;ve got to be ahead of the curve. As you&rsquo;re increasing the planes there, you have to have the infrastructure to support it,&quot;&nbsp;Durbin said.</p><p class="MsoNormal">Meantime, if the senators can&rsquo;t get the two sides to even meet face-to-face until a week before election day, that may be telling us something: that this fight over O&rsquo;Hare&rsquo;s future will fall to Chicago&rsquo;s next mayor.</p></p> Fri, 04 Feb 2011 13:40:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/american-airlines/daley-airlines-struggle-reach-compromise-expanding-ohare Daley, airlines postpone meeting to talk future of O'Hare http://www.wbez.org/story/american-airlines/daley-airlines-postpone-meeting-talk-future-ohare <p><p>A meeting to discuss the future expansion of O'Hare International Airport was canceled Thursday.</p><p>Mayor Richard Daley was scheduled to sit down with the heads of two major airlines to discuss funding for the project.</p><p>Mayor Daley wants United and American Airlines to help pay for Phase 2 of the O'Hare Modernization Program. And he wants to get started on that as soon as possible.</p><p>United and American are the two biggest carriers at O'Hare. The airlines say O'Hare's not busy enough to demand that the expansion start right away.</p><p>In an effort to get talks moving, Daley and the CEOs of United and American were supposed to sit down for the first time today. But the meeting was canceled because of the blizzard. Daley said he thinks they're avoiding him.</p><p>&quot;I made another exception. The only time I've ever made an exception in 22 years,&quot;&nbsp;Daley said. &quot;And I said, &quot;How about that Sunday?&quot; And they said, &quot;No.&quot; I said, &quot;How about Monday?&quot; They said &quot;No.&quot; Then they're doing it I think Tuesday - we think so.&quot;</p><p>That would be one week before the city's election day. Daley says he thinks the airlines are trying to wait to negotiate with the next mayor.<br />&nbsp;</p></p> Thu, 03 Feb 2011 20:09:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/american-airlines/daley-airlines-postpone-meeting-talk-future-ohare