Illinois Finally Gets New Airport Initially Planned in 1984

A new law clears the takeoff for the construction of the long-awaited South Suburban Airport in University Park. Planning for the airport initially began in 1984. Last month, Governor Pat Quinn signed the law authorizing the construction of the air transportation hub.

[Sign marking the site of the South Suburban Airport. Photo courtesy of Mike Rizzitiello]

The law ― Senate Bill 20 ― also contained provisions on the construction of a sports arena near McCormick Place for DePaul University, changes to farmland property taxes, and provisions on the development on the Port of East St. Louis.

“From day one, I have fought to make the South Suburban Airport a reality in Will County,” said Governor Quinn. “I am happy to say that our hard work and commitment to getting the job done has paid off. Now we can move forward with the development of this major economic engine that will strengthen our status as the transportation hub of the nation while creating thousands of good­ paying jobs in Illinois.”

The $111 million project is expected to generate more than 11 thousand jobs and stimulate economic growth in and around Will County and Peotone. The airport will add an additional 14 thousand jobs when it becomes fully operational.

While Governor Quinn has secured millions of dollars in capital, thousands of acres of land, and approvals from the FAA, IDOT will now be responsible for the construction and management of the Airport.  ❒

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