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Raja Leads Bipartisan Coalition Of Community Leaders Urging Federal Agency To Authorize Continued Development Of Western Access To O’Hare

April 14, 2017
Press Release
Project Would Create 65,000 Permanent Jobs, Reduce Congestion

SCHAUMBURG, IL – Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi yesterday sent a letter co-signed by twenty-one community leaders urging the US Surface Transportation Board to approve the Tollways’ petition to allow continued construction of the Elgin O’Hare Western Access Project.

Rep. Krishnamoorthi began circulating the letter after his jobs summit on Tuesday which focused on the project’s huge economic benefits. The Illinois Governor’s Advisory Council estimates that approximately 65,000 permanent jobs will be created through completion of the project by 2040, in addition to other benefits such as reduced traffic congestion in communities surrounding the airport.

Congressman Krishnamoorthi’s letter follows:

April 11, 2017


The Honorable Ann D. Begeman

Acting Chairman


The Honorable Daniel R. Elliott III

Vice Chairman


The Honorable Deb Miller

United States Surface Transportation Board

395 E Street, S.W.

Washington, D.C. 20423-0001


Re: Docket No. FD 36075


Dear Chairman Begeman and Surface Transportation Board members:

We write to express our serious concern regarding the matter referred to above, currently before the Surface Transportation Board and brought by the Illinois Toll Highway Authority (“Tollway”). In its petition, the Tollway seeks declaratory judgment that exercise of state law eminent domain authority to acquire permanent and temporary easements for the construction of five bridges over railroad tracks in the vicinity of O’Hare International Airport (“O’Hare”) is not preempted by the Interstate Commerce Commission Termination Act, 49 U.S.C. ss 10101 et seq.

The specific subject of the Tollway’s petition, the Western Access Interchange, is an integral component of the broader Elgin O’Hare Western Access Project (“EOWA”), and is part of the O’Hare Modernization Plan (“OMP”).  The EOWA and OMP (which includes construction of a new terminal requiring a western entry point into O’Hare) are projected to greatly improve freight and passenger access to the airport by providing western access to O’Hare, and provide other transportation benefits for passenger and freight transportation in and around the Chicago area.  Additionally, the Illinois Governor’s Advisory Council estimates that approximately 65,000 permanent jobs will be created by completion of EOWA by 2040, nearly seventy percent of which would locate in the communities west of O’Hare.[1]  The United States Department of Transportation recently designated EOWA as a Project of National and Regional Significance due to its impact on the regional economy and the execution of other national priorities.

Mindful of the significant economic benefits this project will bring to our communities, businesses and the region at large (and nationally, insofar as it is a continuation of improvements to an airport of critical importance to our national air transportation system), we wish to express our full support for EOWA and the Tollway’s efforts in seeing this multi-year project completed as soon as resolution of this issue, and construction of the roadway, permits.

Best regards,

Raja Krishnamoorthi

Member of Congress



I, the undersigned, concur with the concerns state in Congressman Krishnamoorthi’s letter of April 11, 2017 to the Surface Transportation Board, and support the Illinois Toll Highway Authority’s efforts to obtain the easements necessary to complete the Elgin O’Hare Western Access Project.


Dan Cronin

DuPage County Board Chairman


Timothy O. Schneider

Cook County Commissioner


Richard Veenstra

Addison Mayor


Evan K. Summers

Village Manager -Bensenville


Craig B. Johnson

Mayor of Elk Grove Village


Rodney S. Craig

Mayor, Village of Hanover Park


Al Larson

Village President, Schaumburg


Annunziato Pulice

Mayor of the City of Wood Dale


Anna Moeller

State Representative for the 43rd District


Michelle Mussman

State Representative for the 56th District


Laura M. Murphy

State Senator for the 28th District


Paul Fichtner

Chairman, O’Hare Noise Committee

Member, DuPage County Board


Sam Tornatore

County Board, DuPage County District 1


James P. Connolly

Chicago Laborers’ District Council Business Manager


Alejandro Perez

BA Carpenters Union 181


Joseph Pastorino

Chicago Regional Council of Carpenters


Ralph Affrunti

President, Chicago and Cook County Building Trades


Frank Furco

Business Manager, IBEW Local 701


Michael Sturino

President, Illinois Road and Transportation Builders Association


John A. Carpenter

President & CEO, Choose DuPage


Dave Parulo

President, Meet Chicago Northwest

Scanned copy of the letter authored by Congressman Krishnamoorthi and co-signed by 21 community leaders