Chicago Nears Finalization of $8.5 Billion Expansion of O’Hare International Airport
This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.
Chicago’s largest airport could soon be getting a facelift. The city’s mayor Rahm Emanuel and the airlines are reportedly in the final stages of negotiating an $8.5 billion deal to expand Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport (ORD).
As reported by the Chicago Tribune, the deal would include a new state-of-the-art “Global Terminal,” featuring new gates and additional concourses. In all, the eight-year plan would catapult ORD to a more modern airport by reducing gridlock and delays, along with accommodating more flights — both international and domestic.
The potential deal comes near the end of a 35-year lease with the airlines, which is set to expire in May. Emanuel is expected to leverage the expiration of that deal to get higher fees from airlines, which would help to finance the project. The $8.5 billion project would be paid for with future airline fees, and therefore would not require taxpayer dollars.
Details show that the 55-year-old Terminal 2 would be torn down to make way for the new “Global Terminal.” In addition, Terminals 1, 3 and 5 would be renovated, with two new satellite concourses opening to the west of existing terminals, connected to the new “Global Terminal” by an underground pedestrian tunnel. While the airport currently houses 185 gates, the new ORD would feature a total of 220.
In all, the deal would add 72% more terminal space — from 4.3 million square feet to 7.4 million — and allow for six east-west runways and two diagonal runways. The project is expected to be completed over the next eight years. While nothing has yet been confirmed by the city, the proposal is set to be discussed at Wednesday’s City Council meeting.
Based on TPG‘s 2016 look at the best and worst airports in the US, ORD came in as the fourth worst — behind LaGuardia (LGA), John F. Kennedy (JFK) and Newark (EWR).
Featured image by Anadolu Agency / Getty Images.
Welcome to The Points Guy!
WELCOME OFFER: 80,000 Points
TPG'S BONUS VALUATION*: $1,600
CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 3X points on dining and 2x points on travel, points transferrable to over a dozen travel partners
*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.
- Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
- Enjoy benefits such as a $50 annual Ultimate Rewards Hotel Credit, 5x on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 3x on dining and 2x on all other travel purchases, plus more.
- Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,000 toward travel.
- With Pay Yourself Back℠, your points are worth 25% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories
- Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.