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Court Nixes Challenge to O’Hare Expansion Plan

(CN) - The town of Bensenville, Ill., and its residents lost their bid to stop the expansion of Chicago's O'Hare Airport, the Appellate Court of Illinois ruled.

The Illinois Legislature passed the O'Hare modernization program in 2003, stating: "O'Hare cannot efficiently perform its role in the state and national transportation system unless it is reconfigured with multiple parallel runways."

Bensenville and its residents secured a preliminary injunction to prevent the demolition of homes in the town to make way for the new runways. However, Judge O'Malley overturned the injunction because eminent domain proceedings are still pending.

O'Malley also ruled that the state's O'Hare Modernization Act trumps the village's Demolition Ordinance. The Act states that airport property is not subject to the laws of local governments.

"As Chicago points out," O'Malley wrote, "plaintiffs would be no better off if they did have standing to challenge Chicago's acquisition of the properties, for they are attacking prior judgments that have preclusive effect."

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