The runway needed to be upgraded, but they didn't want to spend the money on it since it was used so seldom. Also, runway 18 was always closed to takeoffs and 36 was closed to landings due to the parking garage being in the way.
I live in Chicago here, too. I worked one mile from ORD. The planes approach or take off path everyday from RWY 22R.. All I know I have been flying out and in. I have never seen ONCE action small plane on 18/36 for 20 YEARS!! Never never never use it at all!! I never seen the plane approach to RWY 18 or take off RWY 36 at all. That's why they're closed now. I'm happy that we don't have to pay taxes for nothing to use the runway's paint marking... How dumb it is?!?
PS.. a few airports have been closed runway of not active use. They're closed it anyway.. It saves budget.