Western Access O'Hare

Don’t reinvent wheel on western access to O’Hare

Letter to the Editor of Crain’s Chicago Business

Letter published by Crain’s Chicago Business, July 13, 2018, view here.

A June 18 Crain’s Chicago Business editorial (“Better late than never at O’Hare“) lauded the recent agreement between the Illinois Tollway and the Canadian Pacific Railway, clearing the way for building a western access to O’Hare. Choose DuPage Economic Development Alliance and DuPage County officials share in celebrating the clearing of this final hurdle, but respectfully challenge the notion this agreement means planners must look at the entire project anew.

Certainly, market conditions have changed since the concept of Western Access O’Hare was first discussed. However, it’s important to recognize the planning and growth that have already taken place along O’Hare’s western corridor.

The project began with an addition of nearly 50 expressway lane-miles. By converting Thorndale Avenue into a limited-access, four-lane highway, it has created an extension to the Elgin-O’Hare Expressway, opening the opportunity to build a bypass that connects I-90 and I-294. The new I-390 tollway that opened last fall is part of the western access effort that will eventually connect to O’Hare, creating a western access point to the airport—a project vital to our region, and especially DuPage County.

Communities within 3 miles of western access have identified more than 30 planning areas where they are seeking to incentivize with development, or redevelopment, in the hopes of modernizing and diversifying economic sections. These plans include a downtown revitalization effort for Bensenville and Wood Dale, as well as Elk Grove industrial park modernizations.

Since 2014, the Choose DuPage Economic Development Alliance has worked with the Illinois Tollway and regional public- and private-sector leaders to establish the Western Access O’Hare Corridor as a premier global business location. According to the Elgin-O’Hare Western Bypass Advisory Council, the economic benefits of this project include the creation of 65,000 jobs by 2040; 13,450 jobs will be created annually in the region during construction. Travel delays will be reduced, saving an estimated $145 million annually by 2040, in addition to an expected increase of local tax revenues of $29 million annually.

As our region builds the foundation for successful development along the western suburbs bordering O’Hare, DuPage County continues to thrive, maintaining the lowest unemployment rate in the Chicago area and declining industrial vacancy rates. We would like to take this opportunity to invite the public and business community stakeholders to visit and see firsthand the ongoing progress associated with western access that is creating jobs and opportunity today.

DAN CRONIN
Chairman, DuPage County Board

JOHN A. CARPENTER
President and CEO, Choose DuPage Economic Development Alliance

Western Access O'Hare

Tentative deal set on O’Hare western access

Article by: Greg Hinz, Crain’s Chicago Business, See Original Article 

After three years of bitter public feuding, the Illinois Tollway and the Canadian Pacific Railway have reached a tentative deal that finally should clear the way for long-awaited western access to O’Hare International Airport.

The tollway board has scheduled a special board meeting for tomorrow afternoon to vote on a “letter of intent” with Canadian Pacific Railway.

Tollway officials declined further comment in advance of the meeting. But a source close to the matter tells me that, a year and a half after the tollway sued Canadian Pacific Railway before the U.S. Surface Transportation Board and the two resumed talks, a framework compromise has been reached under which the tollway’s new Elgin-O’Hare Expressway will be allowed to cross over the huge Canadian Pacific Railway Bensenville rail yard just southwest of O’Hare, but at a different point than under previous designs.

Construction on the road could begin next year, a year later than originally planned, if negotiations for a final contract to implement the tentative deal are successful. The road would run from I-90 south and west past O’Hare, eventually joining with I-294.

It’s not known how much the redesign of the southern end of the proposed expressway will cost. But some land swaps likely will be needed, so that Canadian Pacific Railway can regain some operational flexibility it would lose with a huge highway crossing over its Bensenville yard.

The tollway a decade ago thought it had gentleman’s agreement with Canadian Pacific Railway that, when it became time to build the expressway, a usage agreement would be quickly reached. But the railroad’s position stiffened when it got new management, with the Canadian firm insisting it could not afford to give up any of its property.

Since then, management has changed again and big-name Illinois politicians have become involved, including Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., DuPage County Board Chairman Dan Cronin and U.S. Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi, D-Schaumburg.

DuPage hopes to win an economic development windfall with western access, replicating what happened in Rosemont on O’Hare’s eastern end. But while the latest O’Hare expansion plans call for development of a large entry point and parking lots on the western side of the field, development of a western terminal is not envisioned in the near future.

Related Article: Please, no O’Hare without Western Access

New spec industrial building strategically located at Western Bypass

A joint-venture between Distribution Realty Group and EverWest Real Estate Investors announced its plans to develop an approximately 190,000 square foot speculative industrial building at 220 York Road in Bensenville, Illinois.

Located in DuPage County, the building will feature modern Class A characteristics including 32′ clear ceiling heights, LED lighting with motion sensors, attractive storefront glass, up to 37 dock doors, and ample auto parking. The building is designed to appeal to high end warehouse and logistics companies seeking top-tier space in O’Hare.

“The assemblage of 26 parcels on 10 acres adjacent to the Illinois Route 390 and O’Hare International Airport created a best-in-class logistics location,” said Curran Darling, DRG’s Senior Vice President in Chicago. “From this facility, our customers can take advantage of O’Hare’s South Cargo Entrance from a low DuPage County tax location, along with great connectivity to the new Western Bypass which provides immediate access to Chicagoland’s interstate system.”

“Our firm views Chicago as one of the country’s most important logistics hubs,” said James Love, Managing Partner of DRG, “and we look forward to adding our 10th facility to the O’Hare submarket.” 

The venture has hired Sam Durkin and Dominic Carbonari of JLL to market the property for lease on its behalf. Arco Murray will construct the building on behalf of the partnership.

Distribution Realty Group LLC

Distribution Realty Group LLC is a privately owned industrial real estate firm with offices in Chicago and Nashville. The firm has acquired and developed over 3 million square feet of industrial and distribution facilities since its founding in 2013. For more information, please visit www.distributionrealty.com.

EverWest Real Estate Investors

EverWest Real Estate Investors is a real estate investor and operator located in Denver, Colorado.  The company was acquired by Great-West Life’s real estate advisory platform in February 2018 to help expand their international presence. For more information, please visit www.everwest.com. 

Western Access O'Hare

Please, no O’Hare deal without Western Access

Opinion Editorial by John Carpenter

As Greg Hinz reported in his February 25 column, “$8.5 billion O’Hare expansion deal about to land,” the city of Chicago is close to deal for a massive expansion of O’Hare International Airport. The new O’Hare deal includes a major step towards a providing passenger access from the west— the construction of a 10,000-space employee parking lot on O’Hare’s western edge is a start. As anticipation builds for the announcement of a final deal, establishing a western access point to the airport must remain a critical component of the overall O’Hare Modernization Project (OMP).

O’Hare International Airport is one of the world’s busiest airports, and hundreds of acres of ORD lay within DuPage County. While most appear to be focused on expanding gates and carriers, and possibly even developing a high speed express train to carry passengers back and forth from downtown, it’s important to remember the western access component of the larger OMP is critical to the overall success of the project; this effort will completely transform the economy of the entire Chicagoland region.

Since 2014, the Choose DuPage Economic Development Alliance has worked with the Illinois Tollway and regional public-and private-sector leaders to establish the Western Access O’Hare corridor as a premier global business location. The benefits from building western access are compelling. According to the Elgin-O’Hare Western Bypass Advisory Council, the economic benefits of this project include:

  • Creation of 65,000 jobs by 2040
  • Local tax revenues expected to increase by $29M annually (based on 2010 projection)
  • 13,450 jobs will be created annually in the region during construction
  • Travel delays will be reduced, saving an estimated $145M annually by 2040

There have been a number of stories written over the past few years regarding the progress of the Western Access O’Hare project, or rather, the lack of progress, due to continued gamesmanship by the City of Chicago.  There is much at stake here.  Many fail to realize the big picture impact of this incredibly important project, not only for DuPage County, but for residents and business across the Chicagoland region as whole – that means both the City as well as the surrounding suburbs.

Mayor Emanuel has recently touted O’Hare as the “best connected airport” serving one of the most diversified economies.  For this to be true, the commitment to Western Access as outlined in the OMP needs to remain a priority in the final deal the City. This project is vital to the future of our region and will remain a priority for Choose DuPage until it is complete.

Click here to view this in Crain’s Chicago Business

John Carpenter serves as the President/CEO of the Choose DuPage Economic Development Alliance. We are dedicated to establishing DuPage County as a premier global business location by working to expand and diversify the DuPage County economy through actions that stimulate business investment in its communities and generate desirable job opportunities for its residents.

Western Access O'Hare

O’Hare Western Access is Road to Opportunity

Letter to the Editor of the Daily Herald, by John A. Carpenter, President & CEO of Choose DuPage

There have been a number of stories written over the past few years regarding the progress of the Western Access O’Hare project. Local media has recently questioned if the new I-390 Tollway will ever lead somewhere. It appears people have short memories. The new I-390 Tollway is part of the Western Access effort that will eventually connect to O’Hare creating a western access point to the airport — a project vital to our region, and especially DuPage County.

Key components of the O’Hare Modernization Project (OMP), agreed to and approved 15 years ago, were predicated upon the successful completion of the Elgin-O’Hare Tollway, I-390. The project began with an addition of nearly 50 expressway lane miles. By converting Thorndale Avenue into a limited-access, four-lane highway, we’ve created an extension to the Elgin-O’Hare Expressway, opening the opportunity to build a bypass that connects I-90 and I-294.

This is an incredibly important project, not only for DuPage County, but for residents and businesses across the Chicagoland region as whole. The benefits from the Western Access O’Hare project are compelling. As a component of the larger OMP, this effort will completely transform the economy of the region.

As a quick reminder, according to the Elgin-O’Hare Western Bypass Advisory Council, the economic benefits of this project include:

  • Creation of 65,000 jobs by 2040
  • Local tax revenues expected to increase by $29M annually (based on 2010 projection)
  • 13,450 jobs will be created annually in the region during construction
  • Travel delays will be reduced, saving an estimated $145 million annually by 2040

Today, the manufacturing, transportation and warehousing industries have a workforce of 75,000 in DuPage County, nearly 15 percent of our entire labor force. The Western Access O’Hare project is vital to the future of our region if we are to sustain this level of economic activity. Despite the uncertainty that both public-and private-sector organizations face in today’s environment, Choose DuPage continues to work toward expanding the regional economy through actions that stimulate business investment in our region and generate desirable job opportunities for residents.

In a market where industrial vacancy rates have been on a nearly continuous five-year decline, our county is finding new ways to remain competitive. Industrial businesses are making their move to DuPage, and Western Access to O’Hare allows for further growth; this is truly a road to opportunity, crucial to the future of our economy.

Since 2014, Choose DuPage has worked with the Illinois Tollway and regional public- and private-sector leaders to establish the Western Access O’Hare corridor as a premier global business location. This project will relieve congestion in the western suburbs and generate a raft of jobs and economic growth—with or without a new O’Hare western terminal. DuPage deserves this and the region will benefit from it. So, I challenge the notion I-390 is a road to nowhere. Meaningful western access is building a road to opportunity that is crucial to the future of our economy.

Chicago to deliver on western access facility for passengers at O’Hare, officials say

Western Access O

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED BY: DAILY HERALD, APRIL 7 | VIEW ARTICLE

Suburban officials have high hopes an actual building where fliers can check bags, go through security and ride a people-mover train to terminals is coming to the west side of O’Hare International Airport.

 

The Illinois tollway is extending Route 390, the former Elgin-O’Hare Expressway, east. The road is expected to penetrate O’Hare by 2019 or so, providing western access to the airport for suburbanites.

 

Previous, more modest plans involved a parking lot and bus to convey passengers, but that underwhelmed DuPage leaders who wanted a western terminal.

 

Recent “conversations (with Chicago) have been positive,” Tollway Chairman Robert Schillerstrom said Friday.

 

In addition to parking, “they’re going to construct a building where people can come in, get their tickets, go through security, check their bags and take a people-mover to anywhere in the airport,” he noted.

 

A Chicago Department of Aviation spokesman did not comment.

 

Development on the western side of the airport comes amid other significant changes. The city is retiring one diagonal runway in 2018 and will open a new parallel runway on the north airfield in 2020.

 

Last summer, Chicago announced a massive redevelopment program at O’Hare that includes nine new gates at Terminal 5 and redeveloping the outdated Terminal 2.

 

At the time, CDA officials said a people-mover train was coming to the west side of the airport eventually. They could not confirm when, saying they were prioritizing the other expansions.

 

The city intends to expand Terminal 5, which opened 23 years ago, by 25 percent.

 

Plans for Terminal 2 would convert the underused facility into a central hub with a new U.S. Customs and Border Patrol center and TSA screening stations.

 

DuPage County leaders have pushed for a western entrance and terminal at O’Hare for decades, with expectations it would spark an economic boom.

 

The tollway is currently building Route 390 along Thorndale Avenue and will complete a section from I-290 to Route 83 this year.

 

Western Access O’Hare Opens New Ramps

Published by the Daily Herald, read original article here

State and local transportation officials will be opening three much-anticipated ramps connecting Route 53 (westbound I-290) to Route 390 this weekend after a ribbon-cutting Friday. The ramps are part of the Elgin-O’Hare Expressway project to make O’Hare International Airport accessible from the western suburbs and to build a new tollway around the airport’s western flank. The completion of the full project is years away. Continue reading

Illinois Route 390 Construction Update

Project Overview

The first phase of the Western Access O’Hare project includes building the new Illinois Route 390. The Illinois Route 390 Project scheduled to be complete by 2017 is improving the existing portion of Illinois Route 390, formerly known as the Elgin O’Hare Expressway, from Lake Street (U.S. Route 20) to I-290 and extending Illinois Route 390 east to Illinois Route 83 along the current Thorndale Avenue with bridges and frontage roads to accommodate local traffic. Continue reading