By Adam Chappelle, WLS-AM 890 News
(CHICAGO) Work on a new runway at O’Hare is set to begin Thursday. The more than 11,000 foot runway will be the airport’s 6th east-west runway and the 2nd longest at the airport when it opens in 2020.
City aviation planners say the new tarmac will reduce flight delays and spread out jet noise the in the areas east and west of O’Hare.
The runway is part of a $1.3 billion infrastructure project that includes new de-icing pads, hangars, and a modern taxiway system. None of the $1.3 billion will be coming from Chicago taxpayers, though. The hefty price tag will be picked up by the FAA ($345M), existing passenger facility charges ($200M) and aviation bonds.
It’s the final new piece to the decades-long O’Hare Modernization Program. Another current runway is due to undergo expansion by 2021.