Chicago Nears $8.5B Deal to Expand O’Hare Airport: Reports

The City of Chicago is in the final stages of negotiations on an $8.5 billion overhaul of O'Hare International Airport, according to multiple reports.

The expansion would be the airport's largest ever, adding a state-of-the-art global terminal, as well as dozens of new gates and additional concourses, the Chicago Tribune reported.

The deal comes as the airlines near the end of a 35-year lease in May. Emanuel is seeking to leverage that expiration to obtain higher fees from carriers that would in turn finance the project, according to the Tribune, and construction would not be paid for with tax dollars.

Terminal 2, which is 55 years old, would be torn down to make way for the new "global terminal," according to the Tribune, allowing for wider concourses and gates to accommodate larger planes on international flights. Terminals 1, 3 and 5 would be renovated, and two new satellite concourses would be built and connected to the global terminal via underground pedway.

In all, the expansion is projected to take 8 years and would likely create thousands of jobs. Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel was expected to introduce a tentative agreement at a City Council meeting on Wednesday.

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