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Emanuel Announces $40 Million In Upgrades At O’Hare United Terminal

O'Hare International Airport

O’Hare International Airport (Photo by Tim Boyle/Getty Images)

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CHICAGO (CBS) — Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced plans Wednesday for $40 million in improvements at the United Airlines terminal at O’Hare International Airport, which he says will create as many as 200 construction jobs.

“These critical investments will make O’Hare a more modern, competitive airport for our residents,” Mayor Emanuel said in a news release. “We continue to work to attract visitors and facilitate travel to and from Chicago, and these improvements by United will help us in this important mission.”

United Airlines and the U.S. Transportation Security Administration will invest the money for the improvements, which will benefit United Terminal 2. The mayor’s office says the project will create 150 to 200 jobs at the peak of construction.

The project calls for multiple upgrades, beginning with $13 million new passenger loading bridges, or jetways, at Terminal 2, so that passengers will no longer have to walk onto the tarmac to get to some United Express flights.

United is also building the first new United Club at Terminal 2, which will be triple the size of the current club, for $10 million. Also planned is a $2 million medical clinic for United employees at O’Hare, and upgrades to the T1 Concourse B Terminal baggage system.

United will supply $2 million in funding for the concourse upgrade project, while the TSA will supply $17.5 million.

The announcement comes on the heels of an announcement of several new United flights from O’Hare. They include daily nonstop service to Monterrey, Mexico, starting Dec. 19; weekly peak season service to Nassau, Bahamas, by Feb.9 of next year; daily service to Thunder Bay, Ont., Canada starting Feb. 14 of next year; daily service to Jackson, Miss., beginning Nov. 4, and daily peak winter service to Anchorage, Alaska, in addition to the current summer service.

United earlier this year announced daily flights to Sarasota, Fla., starting Nov. 4.