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Pritzker asked about Emanuel’s opposition to spending money on third airport

Monday, May 6, 2019

* You’ll recall last week when Speaker Madigan signed on to a letter requesting $150 million out of the capital bill for the proposed third airport near Peotone. Mayor Emanuel responded over the weekend via press release…

The significant modernization programs underway at O’Hare and Midway will keep passengers connected and fuel new economic opportunities for the region for years to come. In fact, when the O’Hare expansion is complete, it will be the equivalent of adding a third airport to the area. O’Hare is already number one and our modernization will secure it and the Chicago area’s aviation future. If the state has an extra $150 million to spend, schools, mass transit, libraries and parks could wisely use those resources

Gov. Pritzker was asked about the back and forth while attending a media event with the mayor today. He mostly dodged the question, saying that economic development is “critically important” to the south suburbs, where communities are often “left out or left behind.” He said the airport was one of several economic opportunities and claimed the capital bill will “certainly take into account where we can be of help in the south suburbs.”

“The governor has to look out for the state of Illinois, I’ve got to look out for Chicago,” Emanuel then said when asked by reporters.

The mayor went on to praise Pritzker

The one thing that you should not lose sight before we get to Peotone or a third airport, the fact that people are now talking confidently after 25 years about a capital bill in the state of Illinois. And I want to compliment the governor for actually driving this issue where others have talked about it for over 25 years, that was the last time we actually had a true capital bill. … In the past it was ‘Can we get this done?’ now it’s ‘How do you spend the resources?’ That’s a marked difference.

They’re not quite to that spending conversation yet because they haven’t yet settled on how to pay for it.

…Adding… The Sun-Times had Mayor-elect Lightfoot’s response

“Midway is an incredible economic force for the Chicago’s Southwest Side. Its growth has been a major driver for development of the area and the city’s tourism industry. I am committed to supporting economic development that transforms neighborhoods, but we must also protect the existing institutions which have been spearheading so much current investment and growth,” Lightfoot said in a statement to the Sun-Times.

“If and when the time comes, I will be actively engaged in the conversation about an additional airport while ensuring that our investments in Midway continue to provide economic development.”

* Related…

* Greg Tejeda: Third Airport talk resurrected, but are we any closer to it actually being built: Of course, part of the problem is that supporters look at an airport project solely in terms of what can they gain from it. Not from any aviation perspective or whether it makes any sense to do an airport there.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - wondering - Monday, May 6, 19 @ 1:00 pm:

    I wonder how long it will be before air travel over land is passee, for many reasons.

  2. - Been There - Monday, May 6, 19 @ 1:06 pm:

    I like what the airport has to offer but I do wonder about viability. I would think they would have to concentrate on it being more of a freight airport. That won’t offer as much in spin-off such as hotels and restaurants but still plenty of jobs.

  3. - Roman - Monday, May 6, 19 @ 1:10 pm:

    Given the explosion of the logistics economy in Will County, the “cargo airport” approach makes more sense than ever. I’d feel a lot better about it if Amazon, UPS or FedEx signed up, though.

  4. - Not a Billionaire - Monday, May 6, 19 @ 1:12 pm:

    We had capital bills under Ryan and Quinn. Not 25 years ago. Before that a couple under Thompson.I think there were supplemental freeway bonds under Ogilvie. They occur sporadically.

  5. - NIU Grad - Monday, May 6, 19 @ 1:37 pm:

    What I wonder about Midway is can it even expand any more? It seems to be completely surrounded.

  6. - illini - Monday, May 6, 19 @ 1:42 pm:

    Mid-American Airport, adjacent to Scott AFB, was originally intended to relieve Lambert of its congestion, to provide alternatives to both travelers and air freight. This investment can hardly be considered any kind of success given its history over these many years.

    What are the chances that this investment will realistically be any different?

  7. - Grand Avenue - Monday, May 6, 19 @ 1:42 pm:

    Roman has a great point that an airport would play perfectly into the growth Will County has experienced.

    Maybe we can get Amazon buy in by naming it Jeff Bezos International.

  8. - City Zen - Monday, May 6, 19 @ 1:56 pm:

    Strange, this is no mention of building an airport in JB’s Priorities for Protecting the Environment. Will a new airport put Illinois on a path toward 100% clean, renewable energy? Shouldn’t we wait 11.5 years anyway on any large construction projects until we successfully navigate the pending climate change catastrophe?

  9. - On another note - Monday, May 6, 19 @ 1:58 pm:

    The state now owns 6500 contiguous acres in Will County for the 3rd airport which by most estimates will serve freight movers…a job Rockford does extremely well. How many millions could that acreage be sold for to fund a capital bill?

  10. - Three Dimensional Checkers - Monday, May 6, 19 @ 1:59 pm:

    == We had capital bills under Ryan and Quinn. Not 25 years ago. ==

    Yeah, seriously, the Mayor is giving the Trotsky treatment to capital bills, lol.

  11. - Been There - Monday, May 6, 19 @ 2:06 pm:

    ===How many millions could that acreage be sold for to fund a capital bill?===
    Well 6500 times $30,000 (which could be high or low but not too far off) equals $195,000,000. A lot of money but nowhere near the capital needs even just in the south suburban.

  12. - Chicagonk - Monday, May 6, 19 @ 2:30 pm:

    The whole Field of Dreams build it and they will come style of governance doesn’t work.

  13. - Denise - Monday, May 6, 19 @ 3:14 pm:

    Amazon is investing in Cincinnati. They usually don’t want just freight. Passenger airlines are regularly used for freight as well. They want both.

  14. - commonsense 171 - Monday, May 6, 19 @ 3:17 pm:

    We have a third airport, Gary. Lot of other things to spend money on.

  15. - Rich Miller - Monday, May 6, 19 @ 3:20 pm:

    ===We have a third airport, Gary===


  16. - 62656 - Monday, May 6, 19 @ 3:23 pm:

    commonsense171 makes a good point. Too often Chicago related conversions fail to account for the fact that much of the Chicago Urbanized Area is in Indiana.

  17. - Middle of the Roadster - Monday, May 6, 19 @ 3:31 pm:

    I thought Rockford was the third airport.

  18. - Former State Worker - Monday, May 6, 19 @ 3:49 pm:

    “I wonder how long it will be before air travel over land is passee, for many reasons.”

    What’s the alternative? This country most certainly doesn’t have the infrastructure in place for bullet trains so I’m wondering why you think air travel could be replaced, especially for freight.

  19. - Six Degrees of Separation - Monday, May 6, 19 @ 6:08 pm:

    ===This country most certainly doesn’t have the infrastructure in place for bullet trains===

    There will likely be a few bullet trains in the US in the next few decades, in CA and TX, and a few higher speed lines like the Chicago-St Louis and Brightline in FL but not enough to replace the commercial aviation we have. My educated guess is that sometime this century, there will be batteries light and powerful enough to replace jet fuel propulsion in aviation.

  20. - wordslinger - Monday, May 6, 19 @ 7:18 pm:

    Enough with the Peotone boondoggle already.

    It’s unnecessary, the airlines don’t want it, and it’s an environmental disaster.

    –Too often Chicago related conversions fail to account for the fact that much of the Chicago Urbanized Area is in Indiana.–

    And they don’t want to fly out of Gary, either. What makes you think they would schlep to Peotone, where no airline wants to fly out of?

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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