I realize I'm hardly an expert airport planner but I always wondered why the city didn't move 22R/4L a little northeast so that it didn't intersect 27L/9R and extend into the terminal space. That would have allowed a full concourse to be built. As it is, in the OGT drawings released, the new concourse is shortened due to the runway sticking right into the middle of where it would go. It seems like it will always cause taxiing complexities as well in the terminal apron.
I imagine it was cost, but was there any other reason not to move that runway while all this other work was being done?
The word "cost" and "O'Hare" should almost never be in the same sentence.
The reason that moving 4L/22R farther northeast isn't considered is because it wouldn't be usable for most operations. If you picked up the entire runway and moved it 1,000' - 2,000' to the NE (preserving the existing length) you would not be able to land on 4L if there were a terminal building build directly below the approach path (clear zone). Additionally, if you needed to land on 22R due to very strong winds, I'm almost certain that the approach would be too low over the Rosemont Horizon/Arena.
I cannot think of any situation where ORD would depart 22R. If, after the runway relocation, you needed to depart 4L, I believe that the Rosemont Horizon/Arena would again be an issue with low, over-flying aircraft. The number of motorists that have a heart attack on the tollway off the departure end of the new 4L would be a drawback as well.
I'm sure there is a good reason for everything done with the airport improvement plan but having worked in the tower there, I (personally) would have rather kept 14L/32R instead of 4L/22R. 14L/32R would provide a long runway alternative during high north or south wind conditions. Much cleaner taxiway layout adjacent to Concourse C and it would eliminate any runway crossings at A3 and eliminating runway crossings is almost always a good thing.