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Tentative deal set on O'Hare western access


Article by: Greg Hinz, Crain's Chicago Business


See Original Article 


After three years of bitter public feuding, the Illinois Tollway and the Canadian Pacific Railway have reached a tentative deal that finally should clear the way for long-awaited western access to O'Hare International Airport.


The tollway board has scheduled a special board meeting for tomorrow afternoon to vote on a "letter of intent" with Canadian Pacific Railway.


Tollway officials declined further comment in advance of the meeting. But a source close to the matter tells me that, a year and a half after the tollway sued Canadian Pacific Railway before the U.S. Surface Transportation Board and the two resumed talks, a framework compromise has been reached under which the tollway's new Elgin-O'Hare Expressway will be allowed to cross over the huge Canadian Pacific Railway Bensenville rail yard just southwest of O'Hare, but at a different point than under previous designs.


Construction on the road could begin next year, a year later than originally planned, if negotiations for a final contract to implement the tentative deal are successful. The road would run from I-90 south and west past O'Hare, eventually joining with I-294.


It's not known how much the redesign of the southern end of the proposed expressway will cost. But some land swaps likely will be needed, so that Canadian Pacific Railway can regain some operational flexibility it would lose with a huge highway crossing over its Bensenville yard.


The tollway a decade ago thought it had gentleman's agreement with Canadian Pacific Railway that, when it became time to build the expressway, a usage agreement would be quickly reached. But the railroad's position stiffened when it got new management, with the Canadian firm insisting it could not afford to give up any of its property.


Since then, management has changed again and big-name Illinois politicians have become involved, including Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., DuPage County Board Chairman Dan Cronin and U.S. Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi, D-Schaumburg.


DuPage hopes to win an economic development windfall with western access, replicating what happened in Rosemont on O'Hare's eastern end. But while the latest O'Hare expansion plans call for development of a large entry point and parking lots on the western side of the field, development of a western terminal is not envisioned in the near future.


Related Article: Please, no O'Hare without Western Access

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Chicago Blackhawks CEO Shares Perspective on Building a Winning Culture with DuPage County Business Leaders

DuPage County Regional Business Outlook

Approximately 700 Area Business Leaders Attend 9th Annual DuPage County Regional Outlook Event 


Chicago Blackhawks President and CEO John McDonough shared insights into leading a successful organization and building a winning culture before an audience of nearly 700 of the region's top business and civic leaders during the ninth annual DuPage County Regional Business Outlook event on May 2 at the Drury Lane Conference Center. The annual event, hosted by Choose DuPage Economic Development Alliance, Mesirow Financial, and Ice Miller LLP, brings together DuPage County’s business owners and executives, government and education leaders, and other members of the local business community to learn insights about the current regional and national economic landscape, as well as to discuss best practices and growing potential in today’s economy.  


During his dialogue with event moderator Lisa Leiter, chief content officer of the Executives’ Club of Chicago, McDonough expressed the importance of making good hiring decisions. He also highlighted the value of cultivating a strong culture of loyalty, candor, and compassion within an organization, and building a team of people who will complement and enhance the company vision. 

DuPage County Regional Business Outlook


“The most important executive skill and the most underrated executive skill is hiring. If you don’t hire well, I don't think you have a chance. You can have the greatest blue print for a really good course, but you have to hire the right people who complement and enhance what you have as an organization,” said McDonough.  “Consistently, there is a sense in our organization of purpose, there is a very strong sense of humility, and it’s important to be consistent about that.”


Prior to McDonough’s remarks, DuPage County Board Chairman Dan Cronin opened the event via a video address offering a current snapshot of the positive local economic landscape in DuPage County.


“Last year in DuPage County, we had a number of significant new projects—companies that chose to move here, or undertook significant expansion projects and topped $1 million in investment, or added 20 or more new jobs,” said Cronin.  “Just last year, more than 11,000 new jobs were created in DuPage County, bringing total employment to over 655,000. Our employment base is strong and growing.”


Following Cronin’s opening remarks, Mark Peterson, president and CEO of Intersect Illinois, shared an update on the State of Illinois’ economic development efforts, noting Illinois ranked third in the nation for economic development projects last year while current competition for economic prosperity is fierce. Chief Global Market Strategist for Invesco, Kristina Hooper, echoed the positive forecast in her global economic outlook presentation. While highlighting infrastructure spending as the fastest return on investment to solve economic development issues, she also advised investors to be prepared for greater change going forward in three key areas including monetary policy, geopolitics, and disruption driven by technological innovation. 


DuPage County Regional Business Outlook


Overall, this year’s event highlighted DuPage County’s thriving business climate and reinforced the spirit of innovation and opportunities throughout the business community. Choose DuPage continues to promote the region’s diverse assets, economic strengths, and opportunities for investment in an effort to continue future economic development for the region.


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