Chicago Aims To Deliver On Western Access Road To O’Hare

CHICAGO (CBS) — A suburban congressman is working to rally mayors, county officials, lawmakers and others in a major push for the long-awaited Western access road to O’Hare airport.

Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi says a Western access road to O’Hare had been contemplated for decades, and estimates say it could create 65,000 permanent jobs. He added that there would be robust economic development in the area.

“It’ll provide incredible relief of congestion and enhanced accessibility to the area surrounding O’Hare,” Krishnamoorthi said.

Longtime Elk Grove Village Mayor Craig Johnson once opposed O’Hare expansion, but says everyone should be pushing for the Western access road.

Officials say the money is there for the project but there’s still some administrative resistance to overcome.

Illinois Tollway Chairman Robert Schillerstrom said one roadblock is with the Canadian Pacific Railroad, whose track cross the proposed path of the access road. He says CP is now resisting granting access.

img 3129 Chicago Aims To Deliver On Western Access Road To OHare

Tollway Chairman Robert Schillerstrom talks about challenges of building Western Access to O’Hare. (Craig Dellimore)

Suburban officials are asking the federal Surface Transportation Board to step in. And he hopes for widespread public and official pressure for a positive ruling.

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