CHICAGO (CBS/AP) — Ten years into its $8 billion airfield overhaul, Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport is opening a second new runway that officials say will begin to ease the hub airport’s congestion and eliminate delays that ripple around the country’s air system.
Planes are scheduled to start landing and taking off Thursday morning on the 10,800-foot runway in the southern half of the airport’s footprint. That will mark the end of the first phase of the O’Hare Modernization Program.
The work is aimed at addressing the crippling delays and maintaining the airport’s status as a key crossroads in the nation’s transportation architecture.
The project began in 2003, and primarily involves reconfiguring the airfield’s crisscrossing runways into a more modern parallel layout that officials say will allow more aircraft to take off and land.
WBBM Newsradio’s Mike Krauser reports that some people are not happy about the new runway, citing concerns about aircraft noise.
“We are the doormat to the world now,” said Park Ridge resident Gene Spanos of Citizens Against Plane Pollution. “You are looking at all this plane noise and jet fuel emissions.”
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