Dignitaries and officials broke ground Friday on a massive new security checkpoint expansion project at Midway Airport.
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Senator Dick Durbin, and Congressman Dan Lipinski were among those in attendance for the event, which will kick off a $323 million investment into upgrading the airport.
“Today, wait times at Chicago’s airports are among the best in the nation because we have taken steps to improve efficiency, while ensuring more than 100 million passengers can travel safely through Midway and O’Hare each year,” Emanuel said. “Over the next three years, we will transform Midway into a truly world class airport at no cost to taxpayers, while creating hundreds of jobs right here in the community.”
According to a press release issued by the mayor’s office, the expansion project will create a security checkpoint area seven times wider than the current security hallway, and will feature all new screening technology. Automated TSA lanes will be installed, and is expected to double the current capacity of the checkpoint, raising it from 2500 people per hour to 5000.
“Chicago’s airports are well-equipped to provide a safe and efficient experience to the travelling public, and to continue offering efficient wait times, thanks to our partnerships with the TSA and airlines,” Chicago Department of Aviation Commissioner Ginger S. Evans said.
The expanded security checkpoint is expected to be completed by 2019. The project will create an estimated 470 new construction jobs, and the airport expansion project as a whole, which includes upgrades in the airport’s concessions and parking areas, is expected to create 1700 new jobs.