IL-COOK-SCHAUMBURG-L ArchivesArchiver > IL-COOK-SCHAUMBURG > 2007-09 > 1189702500
From: ETM <>
Subject: [IL-COOK-SCHAUMBURG] St John's O'Hare
Date: Thu, 13 Sep 2007 12:55:00 -0400
O'Hare Expansion moves forward
Court rules against final legal hurdle
September 13, 2007 - ABCnews Chicago
An appeals court ruled Thursday that St. John's Cemetery,
which has blocked the O'Hare Expansion project for years,
CAN be developed.
St. John's was the final legal hurdle in the expansion project that
will add a new runway to one of the nation's busiest airports.
According to the 2-to-1 ruling, the cemetery can be relocated and the
site can become home to O'Hare's next runway.
The church that owns the 150-year-old cemetery had hoped to leave the
final resting place undisturbed. The fight hinged on a constitutional
question of religious freedom. It took a year and a half for the 7th
Circuit Court of Appeals to issue a decision.
While the court was debating, the earth around the cemetery was
bulldozed down and moved to make way for the ongoing project. The wait
was costly for the city.
"Until we have this resolved, every day, you know, it adversely
affects us," said Rosie Andolino, O'Hare modernization executive
director, in March 2007.
The group against the expansion argued the ground was sacred.
"We beg the court to make this decision. This is a violation of the
First Amendment perpetrated by the city," said Joe Karaganis, O'Hare
expansion opponent, in March 2007.
The first new runway is already behind schedule and the expansion
project is $400 million over budget. "We're being good business
managers. We're evaluating decisions regularly, making sure we're
doing this for the least amount of cost but not sacrificing quality or
safety in the process," Andolino said.
New look at O'Hare expansion By Paul Meincke
September 12, 2007 - We're getting a new look at the O'Hare expansion
project. The massive project includes the first new runway at the
airport in more than three decades.
A swarm of earth movers on the active airfield are part of a
multi-billion dollar construction project. They work along the newly
designated 10-left, 28-right runway - the busiest in the world. It is
being lengthened to 13,000 feet.
The cement is being poured on the extension now, but it can't be
commissioned until the Union Pacific rail line, a stone's throw from
the runway's end, is relocated, not once, but twice, to accommodate
the O'Hare expansion plan.
"It's a project for the runway extension and quite a task to get
completed, and (it has) to be complete next year by May," said Alan
Dadian, south airfield site manager.
There are always deadlines with construction projects, and they're not
always met, but time clocks on the wall of the O'Hare Modernization
Project office are not-so-subtle reminders. They count down days,
minutes, hours and seconds until a new northern runway and a new
Federal Aviation Administration control tower are set to be
commissioned in November of next year. The tower will control traffic
on the northern half of the airfield, and the runway - the first new
runway at O'Hare since 1971 - is meant to reduce delays.
"All these things are forming and taking shape to what will be the new
airfield, the new airport, the modernized O'Hare," said Rosie
Andolino, O'Hare Modernization Project's executive director.
O'Hare modernization is running $130 million over budget, and a
quarter century of legal battles over O'Hare expansion continue. From
the highest perch on the airport grounds, you can see some of the
Bensenville homes Chicago owns and wants to knock down for expansion.
You can also see St John's cemetery. Its members are fighting to
maintain this final resting place on the basis of religious freedom as
the trucks drive around it, the planes fly next to it, the concrete is
getting poured and the digital wall clocks keep ticking.
The appeals court has had the St John's cemetery case for a year and a
half, wrestling with question of the First Amendment versus eminent