Chicago will receive $12,262,589 from the competitive grant portion of the federal economic stimulus program to improve a runway and taxiway at O’Hare International Airport, Mayor Richard M. Daley and U.S. Senator Dick Durbin said today.
It is the first competitive grant funding to be received by the City under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and comes from a $1.1 billion pot to be used for airport improvement projects and distributed through the Federal Aviation Administration.
The city expects to receive about $1 billion for infrastructure and other projects through the formula funding, non-competitive portion of the federal legislation.
"We knew the application process to be used for this grant was largely in place, so we were ready to apply as soon as the FAA made the funds available," Mayor Daley said at a news conference at O'Hare at which he was joined by Senator Durbin.
"The amount of money available to local governments in the competitive grant category of the program is quite limited, and I want to assure Chicagoans that we will aggressively move to take full advantage of every opportunity the program offers," Daley said.
The money from the grant will be split between two projects that are ready to go as soon as the final paperwork is completed, the mayor said.
"Rehabilitation of this runway will put Illinoisans to work immediately on a project that will contribute to the long term ability of O'Hare airport to serve travelers safely and efficiently," Durbin said. "We will continue to see the benefits of projects like this, funded through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, for years to come."
$5,532,611 will be used to replace concrete pavement on runway 10/28 - the busiest runway at O'Hare. $6,729,978 will be used to widen and relocate Taxiway M, which runs parallel to runway 10/28.
Both projects will make using the runway safer and increase efficiency, not only at O’Hare, but throughout the national aviation system, Daley said.
He estimates that approximately 75 construction jobs will be created in carrying out the two projects.
The projects are not part of the O'Hare Modernization Program Phase One, which is not eligible for funding under the Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
"These two projects are very important to the efficient operation of the airport, and they couldn't have been done at this time without this federal grant," Daley said.
"So I want to thank the FAA and I want to thank Senator Durbin for the strong support he gives to the large task of making sure O’Hare remains the engine of the Chicago area economy and our region's connection to the rest of the world," he said.