Estimate to Expand Chicago’s

Sat February 14, 2004 - Midwest Edition

CHICAGO (AP) The plan to expand O’Hare International Airport will cost about $14.8 billion, twice the amount city officials cited when they announced the project in 2001.

The new estimate was in a detailed plan submitted Feb. 6 to the Federal Aviation Administration. The agency will use the documents to decide whether the project should get federal funding.

The expansion would create and reconfigure runways to cut flight delays and increase the airport’s flight capacity, city officials have said.

Critics said the revision confirms their belief that the expansion is not workable because of increasing costs and the amount of aircraft and passengers that a larger O’Hare could serve.

Chicago aviation officials contend the core portion of the expansion project is still the $6.6 billion that Mayor Richard Daley announced when he unveiled the airfield plan in 2001.

Aviation officials say the cost of the runways alone is estimated at $6.6 billion, based on 2001 dollars, but the runways are linked to other ventures, including $4.1 billion in repairs over 20 years and $2.6 billion for terminal construction and renovation.