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Bonds To Be Issued For O’Hare Expansion

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O'Hare International Airport (Credit: Frank Polich/Getty Images)

O’Hare International Airport (Credit: Frank Polich/Getty Images)

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CHICAGO (CBS) – With some obstacles out of the way, the expansion project at O’Hare International Airport is moving ahead.

Last week, the city agreed to a deal to break a stalemate with American and United Airlines, who had filed a lawsuit to block expansion plans.

LISTEN: Newsradio 780′s Bob Conway reports

Now, with the city having agreed to certain concessions and new federal funding available, the city says the process of issuing $1 billion in bonds to finance the continuing O’Hare Modernization Program can proceed.

The bonds are set to be issued during the week of April 18.

The bonds are intended to pay for a new southern runway, another future runway on the site of St. Johannes Cemetery, and a new control tower, among other upgrades.

The airlines filed suit months ago in an effort to avoid being strapped with more long-term debt. They said they couldn’t afford the billions in fees needed to pay for more runways, and passenger demand isn’t there.

Last week, a deal was finally negotiated by U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Mayor Richard M. Daley, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood and U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.).

In deciding to drop the plans last week, United chief executive officer Jeffrey Smisek said a new south runway still isn’t needed, but will be in the future and “we are willing to help fund our portion.”

The Sun-Times Media Wire contributed to this report.

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