Bensenville Homes Razing Project to Start Today

March 24, 2010

Following a 25-year fight for land, demolition finally begins today on 600 vacant homes and businesses in west suburban Bensenville to make way for new runways at O’Hare International Airport.

The O'Hare Expansion Program should assist in easing snarled air traffic around one of the world's busiest airports.

The city of Chicago spent millions of dollars buying the homes and relocating the owners for the expansion and, in turn, the Village of Bensenville spent decades and an estimated $20 million fighting it.

In November, Village officials dropped their lawsuits in exchange for $16 million and control over the demolition process.

The homes to be razed are in the northeast corner of the village and include town homes, ranch houses, even a few mansions. The Department of Aviation believes the process will last through the summer. This section of Bensenville is now Chicago.

Bensenville is still in litigation over land at the 160-year-old historic Saint Johannes Cemetery, where plans had been to dig up remains and rebury them elsewhere to finish the expansion.

The $15 billion O’Hare Modernization Program, which calls for replacing old intersecting runways with six parallel ones, will hopefully ease air traffic in and out of one of the world’s busiest airports.

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