KarlB737
Topic Author
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Major Upgrades May Be Coming To MDW

Sat Sep 22, 2012 11:51 pm

A report has surfaced that indicates that some rather expensive improvements may be coming to Chicago Midway Airport. The information first surfaced in the Chicago Sun-Times and then from WBBM. The cost is estimated at 1.1 Billion dollars for these unmentioned improvements. For whatever reason neither article provides the information as to what these improvements might be.

Most everyone here at A-Net is fully aware of the limited real estate at MDW. It also hasn't been that long since the entire passenger terminal was replaced. Given this price tag could it be that the reason that the actual "improvements" are kept secret is because it may have something to do with potential acquisition of some surrounding real estate.

Maybe someone in our large forum has some insight as to what is being proposed. I have included links to both reports below.


Courtesy: WBBM

Major Upgrades May Be Coming To Midway Airport

"The city says the plan is aimed at ensuring that Midway continues to “grow and remain competitive,” the Sun-Times reported. The exact nature of the proposed improvements was not spelled out."

http://chicago.cbslocal.com/2012/09/...s-may-be-coming-to-midway-airport/


Courtesy: Chicago Sun-Times

1.1B Midway Improvements Promised Under New ‘Use Agreement’

http://www.suntimes.com/business/151...mised-under-new-use-agreement.html
 
Mexicana757
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Joined: Fri Apr 20, 2001 3:21 pm

RE: Major Upgrades May Be Coming To MDW

Sun Sep 23, 2012 1:11 am

Quoting KarlB737 (Thread starter):

Very interesting news.    Many possibilities of what that $1.1 billion could do to improve MDW. I guess the rumor of new terminal can go back on the table. Extension of runways and taxiways to be able to have airlines fly bigger aircraft and have airlines like WN fly to further destinations without weight restrictions on flights. Which means more international destinations... Looks like CDA is going to try and make MDW be more attractive to more airlines.

Would like to know more details on what the proposed improvements will be.   
 
BMI727
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RE: Major Upgrades May Be Coming To MDW

Sun Sep 23, 2012 1:14 am

As with every major improvement project for Chicago, I'll believe it when I see it.
Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
 
n6238p
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RE: Major Upgrades May Be Coming To MDW

Sun Sep 23, 2012 1:22 am

I made a thread a few months ago and someone else did even more recent mentioning the sudden clearing out of tenants in the southwest corner of the airport south of 4R. Maybe our suspicions then have something to do with this.
To actively root against anybody is just low, and I hope karma comes back at you with a vengeance
 
ORDJOE
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RE: Major Upgrades May Be Coming To MDW

Sun Sep 23, 2012 1:42 am

The terminal is not that old and perfectly fine. This seems like a waste, we have capacity at ORD and still expanding ORD, the city, nor the state, nor the feds have a bil to piss away. If I were to guess though if this is a billion expansion, they are going to buy some houses to make room.
 
Beardown91737
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RE: Major Upgrades May Be Coming To MDW

Sun Sep 23, 2012 1:55 am

I don't know Emanuel, but up through Richie D, the Mayor was a South Sider (except Byrne) and the big players in the council were South Siders as well. So I tend to believe stories about money going to MDW, especially with the jobs to be generated in City Hall's favorite part of town.

There still is a problem with limited real estate, so maybe we will see Cicero & 63rd tunneled under a runway extension. Would $1.1B do that (with Chicago work rules). The terminal has lots of free space everywhere that WN isn't. They did a great job with that reconfiguration, unlike the moronic reduction of seating capacity at Soldier Field.
135 hrs PIC (mostly PA-28) - not current. Landings at MDW, PIA, JAN.
 
ckfred
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RE: Major Upgrades May Be Coming To MDW

Sun Sep 23, 2012 4:26 am

The only upgrade that has been discussed over the last ten years is putting another bridge or two over Cicero Avenue, connecting the terminal and the concourses. The single skybridge means only 1 security checkpoint, which often backs up. If you think about it, Terminal 3 at ORD has 5 checkpoints (one at G, one at L, the two main checkpoints, and the elite/first class checkpoint). So, only at very, very busy times does security get backed up.
 
AA737-823
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RE: Major Upgrades May Be Coming To MDW

Sun Sep 23, 2012 9:52 am

That's quite a wad of cash; the total cost for Dallas Love Field to DEMOLISH and REBUILD the terminal is under $600 million.
So, having flown through MDW last month, I'm having a hard time seeing where I'd personally spend $1.1 billion.
I CAN see, as ckfred said, an additional connector bridge; TSA screening there was very crowded, on a Tuesday afternoon, no less!
 
EWRandMDW
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RE: Major Upgrades May Be Coming To MDW

Sun Sep 23, 2012 10:54 am

MDW is my airport of choice in Chicago. Last time I was there was less than a month ago. One thing I know is happening is the parking deck on 55th St. west of Cicero is being greatly expanded. There's also been recent discussion of adding more int'l arrivals gates, perhaps by moving Int'l Arrivals to a separate location.

Then there's serious talk of extending the Orange Line L (check CTA website for details) south from the current terminal at Midway to the Ford City area. The city would have to acquire a good chunk of land for open cut or tunnel and elevated structures. Since one boundary of the airport is only a block away across Cicero Ave, perhaps that road can be once more relocated and the airport moved east. There probably won't be enough room for a runway extension, but there will be room for another terminal concourse.
 
jcwr56
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RE: Major Upgrades May Be Coming To MDW

Sun Sep 23, 2012 12:20 pm

The key word is "upgrades"...everyone knows how terrible the layout of the checkpoint is, so this is one area that will probably be addressed right from the start.

$1.1B sounds like a lot of money but it's over 15 years and lets look at the cost of inflation eating away at that amount. It's amazing how the work rules here in Chicago will not get you as much for the dollar as other places.

Still, good news for the southside folks.

Here's a link of bids for both ORD and MDW, so as time goes on you'll see where the monies are being spent.

http://www.ohare.com/BusinessInformation/BidAlerts/Default.aspx
 
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modernArt
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RE: Major Upgrades May Be Coming To MDW

Sun Sep 23, 2012 12:47 pm

Why don't they build a "Polderbahn" type of runway along and south of W 65th with a connecting taxiway along Cicero?** Of course that would cost at least $5B. Looks to be a mix of vacant land and industrial warehouses.

** Of course I'm only being facetious as I realize that would never happen.
 
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cosyr
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RE: Major Upgrades May Be Coming To MDW

Sun Sep 23, 2012 6:31 pm

I think it would cost more than 1 billion, but could they rework some roads (maybe into tunnels) and extend another 1000 feet to the Northeast corner of the property? It looks like parking lots and warehouse space. Any business would have their pricetag, unlike residents in the houses around all other sides of the property.
 
Mexicana757
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RE: Major Upgrades May Be Coming To MDW

Wed Sep 26, 2012 6:19 pm

Quoting jcwr56 (Reply 9):

The key word is "upgrades"...everyone knows how terrible the layout of the checkpoint is, so this is one area that will probably be addressed right from the start.

I too think this will be one of the first things to be done. Widening the bridge is needed.

Quoting EWRandMDW (Reply 8):
Since one boundary of the airport is only a block away across Cicero Ave, perhaps that road can be once more relocated and the airport moved east. There probably won't be enough room for a runway extension, but there will be room for another terminal concourse.

Shifting Cicero Ave east is probably cheaper than digging a tunnel. If that were to happen I too see room for an extension of either Concourse C or building a new one where the current A4A/B gates are at.

Quoting cosyr (Reply 11):
I think it would cost more than 1 billion, but could they rework some roads (maybe into tunnels) and extend another 1000 feet to the Northeast corner of the property? It looks like parking lots and warehouse space. Any business would have their pricetag, unlike residents in the houses around all other sides of the property.

Probably the best way to extend the runways if CDA has that in the plans. As you said not many houses in the northeast area of the airport. Extending both runways 4R/22L and 4L/22R one can be used for landings and the other for takeoffs. Maybe extend 4R/22L up to 7000 feet and 4L/22R between 6300 and 6500 feet. Of course that would mean shifting both Cicero Ave and 55th Street.

Looking forward to reading what CDA's intentions are in the MDW upgrades.
 
glbltrvlr
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RE: Major Upgrades May Be Coming To MDW

Wed Sep 26, 2012 6:36 pm

Quoting Mexicana757 (Reply 12):
Shifting Cicero Ave east is probably cheaper than digging a tunnel.

I can't see a major shift east with the rail and Ell tracks in the way unless. If you take a look at Google Earth, for $1B you could buy out all the houses on the West, South and bit of the East. They are kind of in a no-mans zone between the airport and industrial areas anyway. The airport would then be bounded on the North and South by 65th and Archer. Finish shifting the south bit of Cicero to the east gets rid of the S turn in the middle and makes room for a small runway extension.
 
justplanenutz
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RE: Major Upgrades May Be Coming To MDW

Wed Sep 26, 2012 7:42 pm

Close runway 13L/31R and you can also extend the existing concourses pretty cheaply.
 
deltadc9
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RE: Major Upgrades May Be Coming To MDW

Wed Sep 26, 2012 8:00 pm

For that kind of money you think they could make the ultimate improvement, getting it out of that south side area.
Dont take life too seriously because you will never get out of it alive - Bugs Bunny
 
ScottB
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RE: Major Upgrades May Be Coming To MDW

Wed Sep 26, 2012 9:57 pm

Quoting KarlB737 (Thread starter):
Given this price tag could it be that the reason that the actual "improvements" are kept secret is because it may have something to do with potential acquisition of some surrounding real estate.

I think that's the only conclusion which makes sense here. There's not much logic in expanding the terminal since commercial service at MDW will ultimately be limited more by runway capacity than it is by terminal space. The terminal has 43 gates but MDW's AAR is only 32/hour under VMC. The terminal has empty gates so the need for expansion isn't currently there.

Perhaps the plan would be to tunnel 55th and Cicero, take the parking lots, and extend the 4-22's to enhance the airfield capacity. Would it be necessary to move 4L-22R northwest if they wanted to use one for takeoffs and one for landings?
 
barney captain
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RE: Major Upgrades May Be Coming To MDW

Thu Sep 27, 2012 8:03 am

"As WBBM Newsradio’s Bob Conway reports, a minimum of $1.1 billion in capital improvements are included under the use agreement proposed by Mayor Rahm Emanuel, according to a Chicago Sun-Times report.

The improvement projects would be paid for by the airlines that operate Midway. They would take up to 15 years, and would clear the way for the carriers to share $22-million in airport revenue."



So $1.1 BILLION in "improvements" is paid for by the "the airlines" so they can then SHARE $22 million.

Awesome. Only a politician would see that as a sound business decision.

Hey why not, let's saddle "the airlines" with even more financial burden. Unbelievable.
Southeast Of Disorder
 
jcwr56
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Joined: Wed Jul 04, 2012 11:36 am

RE: Major Upgrades May Be Coming To MDW

Thu Sep 27, 2012 12:01 pm

Here's a quote....."The proposal also would lock in participating airlines to pay a total of at least $1.1 billion for ongoing construction projects, including the development of a consolidated car rental area, and future ones such as runway renovations and upgraded security screening stations for passengers, Andolino told aldermen."
 
neveragain
Posts: 466
Joined: Wed Sep 26, 2012 2:59 pm

RE: Major Upgrades May Be Coming To MDW

Thu Sep 27, 2012 3:48 pm

The majority of the capital investment at MDW highlighted by Mayor Emmanuel at yesterday's Chicago City Council meeting appears to be fairly standard maintenance and asset renewal/replacement expenditures. Of the $1.1 billion cited in the Mayor's statement, $400 million has been received majority-in-interest approval in accordance with the terms of the lease (see Exhibit N within Exhibit A of the document presented at the city council meeting). Major items on the list and a rough categorization as follows:

$175 million -- residentail sound insulation and noise mitigation (environmental)
$90 million -- rental car facility (expansionary)
$17 million -- property acquisition

Additionally, there are several pavement maintenance, rehabilitiation, and replacement projects and many miscellaneous maintenance and asset replacement projects. Presumably there are several expansionary projects in the yet-to-be-defined $700 million that is forecast over the period for which the lease is valid (01 January 2013 - 31 December 2027) that would include rumored security checkpoint expansion.

While $1.1 billion sounds like a very large sum, the age and condition of the terminal facilities at many airports in the USA will require substantial investments to renew and rehabilitate expensive and unexciting elements of infrastructure, such as terminal mechanical, electrical, and plumbing systems and airfield pavements. What seems like a lot of money may only include a few "interesting and exciting" expansion projects, particularly for the many airports nationwide where growth has disappeared.

The lease agreements are publicly available as part of the official record of the city council meeting, along with the agenda, public notice, and (in time) meeting minutes.
 
Mexicana757
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Joined: Fri Apr 20, 2001 3:21 pm

RE: Major Upgrades May Be Coming To MDW

Fri Sep 28, 2012 4:11 am

Quoting neveragain (Reply 19):
$17 million -- property acquisition

Wonder what land they are purchasing and for what purpose...   

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