Roll Out Balmoral Extension Monday
By: Diane Turner-Hurns
Journal & Topics Reporter
After close to three years of construction, and longer in planning and implementing, Rosemont Mayor Brad Stephens and other local officials will formally open the new Balmoral Avenue roadway connecting the Village with O’Hare Airport at 10 a.m. Monday, Nov. 2.
The newest access point into O'Hare from Balmoral will be complete by month's end, giving its 70 million annual passengers a convenient alternative route, Rosemont officials note. Balmoral Avenue begins at River Road in Rosemont.
"This extension is an important economic development project for the Village, as those visiting Rosemont can now save time and avoid traffic congestion when going to and from O'Hare," Mayor Stephens said. "With several million cars now using the Balmoral ramp every year to access our entertainment district, MB Financial Park, Rosemont Theater, Donald E. Stephens Convention Center, Fashion Outlets of Chicago, and numerous hotels and restaurants, we expect those traveling to O'Hare will also find it convenient."
When the four-lane extension is open, motorists traveling westbound on Balmoral from I-294 can drive over Mannheim Road, under the airport transit system and connect with Bessie Coleman Drive on O'Hare property near the International Terminal.
The $18 million extension project was constructed in conjunction with a $59 million widening of Mannheim Road from Irving Park Road to I-90.
In 2012, the Village and Illinois Tollway entered into an intergovernmental agreement to fund and construct the Balmoral Avenue exit ramp. Village officials say the unique agreement was a first-of-its-kind for the tollway and a boon for the Village, as usage has exceeded expectations over two-fold and provided Rosemont “a new front door.”