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Balmoral Extension: Realizing A Dream

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By: Todd Wessell
Journal & Topics Managing Editor

More than 20 years after the late mayor of Rosemont, Don Stephens, embarked on a project to open a second roadway into and out of O’Hare Airport, that lofty goal, which will affect millions of people in the years to come, is about to become a reality.

A tentative opening date of Monday, Nov. 2 for the Balmoral Avenue extension leading into the airport has been scheduled, according to Rosemont engineer Mark Wrzeszcz. The final touches are being put on the multi-million dollar project that will transform the way people drive to and from O’Hare’s four terminals as they prepare to head to all four corners of the globe.

Make no mistake about it. Don Stephens’ dream will not only greatly benefit O’Hare, the city of Chicago and millions of travelers, but also Rosemont. That’s because vehicular traffic heading out of the airport will be able to drive into Rosemont where the fashion outlet mall, the village’s entertainment district, Rosemont Theater, Donald E. Stephens Convention Center and many hotels await with open arms.

Simply stated, the road development is brilliant and will benefit everyone as travelers now can enter and exit O’Hare a second way rather than having only one option via I-190. It also coincides with the opening a few years ago of the ramp that takes cars moving north on the Tri-State Tollway to Balmoral Avenue in clear site of the theater, restaurants, etc.

In addition, north-south traffic on Mannheim south of Higgins Road will be able to easily head east or west on Balmoral.

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