Rep. Jackson wants airport land now

March 22, 2005 at 12:13 PM

CHICAGO, March 22 (UPI) -- U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. is calling on Illinois officials to move ahead in obtaining land for a proposed third Chicago regional airport near Peotone, Ill.

Jackson, D-Ill., wants the Illinois Department of Transportation to buy 4,200 acres needed for the footprint of the proposed Abraham Lincoln National Airport. The state has already purchased 1,715 acres through a grant from the Illinois FIRST infrastructure program.

Jackson, son of civil rights leader the Rev. Jesse L. Jackson, says Illinois should begin condemnation proceedings if people delay selling the desired land.

He has proposed private developers build the new airport and share profits with surrounding communities. Jackson says an airport 80 miles south of downtown Chicago would serve as an economic engine for the region and ease congestion at O'Hare International Airport.

Local residents in the group Shut This Airport Nightmare Down oppose more land acquisitions to facilitate a one-runway airport in southern Will County.

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