Suburb And City Battle Over Airport Expansion

With expansion of nearby O'Hare Airport planned and moving forward, the suburban Chicago community of Bensenville is being slowly drained of residents and buildings to make way for the project. But some residents aren't going without a fight.

"The area is in the path of the massive O'Hare International Airport expansion project, a $15 billion, long-term plan that expects to eat up large portions of the east end of this western suburb. Chicago and Bensenville are fighting fiercely in court over the neighborhood's future. But the reality is, most residents have already moved out; those who remain live in a virtual ghost town."

"As part of one phase in the project, Chicago wants to take over 611 parcels in the Bensenville area east of York Road. There are 391 already vacant homes and commercial properties ready to be demolished, but Bensenville officials are fighting the city in court."

"While the city and the two villages continue to battle in court, most people in the neighborhoods have long ago sold their homes to the city, packed up and moved on. Others are still living there and haven't signed over their property, but appear resigned."

"As of Thursday, 88 homes or businesses -- plus about 23 structures owned by the Village of Bensenville -- were in condemnation proceedings by the city."

Full Story: Inside an urban ghost town


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