...to be upset after reading this.

I've been waiting a couple of days to see if anyone mentioned this here but no one has. Shantinik's cynical views and distrust of government is certainly upheld here.

Meigs Field, the lakefront airport in Chicago was closed and its runways partially destroyed overnight. Heavy equipment moved in and gouged out chunks of the runway leaving many planes stranded. All that's available to the planes are the taxi ways. Chicago police won't let anyone into the airport. No advance notice was given to the owners of the planes. Mayor Daley has wanted to close Meigs and turn it into a park for a long time, but there was an agreement to keep it open while O'Hare expansion talks continued. More info from the Chicago Tribune after these pics:





Meigs Field, the city's lakefront airport, was closed early today after construction vehicles showed up overnight and dug up large portions of the runway.

At dawn, the view from the top of the Adler Planetarium showed a series of large, X-shaped portions of concrete carved out of the runway's center. Large, illuminated "X" signs marked either end of the runway. Sixteen aircraft appeared stranded, parked along a taxiway and unable to take off.

Steve Whitney, former president of Friends of Meigs Field, vowed to be in court in the morning to challenge the city's action. The organization has opposed Mayor Richard Daley's plan to close the airport and turn it into a park.

A spokeswoman for the Chicago Department of Aviation said Daley would make a statement about Meigs later today.

About 11 p.m. Sunday, several backhoes, large trucks carrying floodlights and generators, and other equipment escorted by Chicago police arrived at the airport and started working on the north-to-south runway.

A Chicago police squad car blocked the access road to Meigs Field. An officer said the airport and park nearby were closed, and no pedestrian or vehicle traffic was being allowed in. He would not comment on the activity.

A night operations supervisor at the Great Lakes Division of the Federal Aviation Administration said she was not notified of any airport closing.

Daley originally intended to close the airport in February 2002 and turn it into a park and nature preserve, but held off doing so to win then-Gov. George Ryan's support for federal legislation backing the $6.6 billion expansion of O'Hare International Airport.

Under terms of a deal reached with Ryan in December 2001, Daley agreed to keep the lakefront airport open until Jan. 1, 2026, though Meigs could be closed anytime after Jan. 1, 2006 by a vote of the General Assembly.
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