United, TSA Invest $40M in O'Hare Upgrades

New improvements include new walkways, baggage claim areas, a healthcare facility and a bigger United Club lounge

O’Hare International Airport is getting a makeover.

United Airlines and the U.S. Transportation Security Administration announced plans Wednesday to invest more than $40 million in improvements to the airport.

Plans include new walkways, baggage claim areas, a healthcare facility for O’Hare employees and an improved United Club lounge.

“These critical investments will make O’Hare a more modern, competitive airport for our residents,” Mayor Emanuel said in a statement. “We continue to work to attract visitors and facilitate travel to and from Chicago, and these improvements by United will help us in this important mission.”

The restructuring includes 10 new passenger-loading bridges costing $10 million to allow regional flight passengers to board straight from their terminal without walking outside. The first set of bridges is scheduled to be completed this month with the full completion set for mid-2013.

Another $19.5 million will provide operational and security upgrades to existing baggage areas.

United also will build a 12,500-square-foot VIP United Club, triple the size of the current lounge area at Terminal, and a medical clinic providing employees with routine check-ups and emergency care. Both projects are set to finish by the end of 2012.

“Providing a world-class experience to our customers while focusing on safety and security have always been high priorities for the Chicago Department of Aviation,” said Chicago Department of Aviation Commissioner Rosemarie Andolino in a statement. “We’re pleased to work with our partner United Airlines in making the investments and upgrades necessary to achieve those goals.”

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