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City reacts to decision by appeals court on O'Hare
By Marni Pyke | Daily Herald Staff
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Published: 1/10/2009 12:03 AM

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O'Hare Modernization Program officials said an appeals court decision halting demolitions of Bensenville properties to make way for airport expansion would cost the city time and money.

The Illinois Appellate Court 2nd District this week reversed a decision by DuPage Judge Kenneth Popejoy on Aug. 7 lifting a ban on teardowns. Bensenville leaders claim razing properties will be hazardous to residents' health.

"This decision negatively impacts our schedule and overall cost of the program and delays the benefits of a modernized O'Hare," O'Hare Modernization Program Executive Director Rosemarie Andolino said in a statement Friday.

But airport planners said they were hopeful Popejoy could resolve objections by the appeals court and applauded decisions by justices upholding the dismissal of four other complaints against the city. Chicago is moving ahead with the project and will be laying concrete on a new runway at the facility's south end this spring, they noted.

Meanwhile, Bensenville Village Manager Jim Johnson said the ruling pleased homeowners living in a neighborhood where Chicago aims to demolish about 600 properties for the airport.

"It's a great relief off their shoulders," he said. "We certainly felt it's a decision that should have been made in the first place."