Lone Chicago Alderman Fights For Meigs

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In what looks like a case of too little, too late, a lone Chicago Alderman (one of 50) has spoken in support of reopening Meigs Field. Ald. Joe Moore (D-49th Ward) stood up at last Wednesday's full meeting of council to call for public hearings into alleged safety problems caused by the March 31 closure of Meigs and for consideration of reopening the waterfront airport. At an earlier news conference, Moore said there have been increased runway incursions at O'Hare and allegations of overwork by air traffic controllers at Midway since Meigs was closed by Mayor Richard Daley, who ordered large X's excavated in the runway. It would cost about $500,000 to fix the runway but Daley seems intent on removing it and creating a park on the property. The Friends of Meigs (FOM) has suggested an alternative plan that would keep the airport open but open more property for park use, but the Daley administration is apparently drawing up the bid documents to complete the job started March 31. The FOM tried to raise funds for a Supreme Court challenge of the closure, after lower courts ruled in Daley's favor, but not enough money was raised in time. The FOM praised Moore's "courage and leadership" in introducing the resolution.