- Associated Press - Wednesday, September 24, 2014

TINLEY PARK, Ill. (AP) - A forum hosted by the Illinois Department of Transportation showcased plans for a 5,800-acre airport project near Peotone, drawing dozens of potential partners.

About 150 people, including citizens, officials and investors, attended the sales presentation for the South Suburban Airport on Tuesday, The Southtown Star (https://bit.ly/Y4qPFU ) reported. The state agency is seeking private partners to help design, build and operate the airport project.

“Illinois is absolutely serious about building this airport … as quickly as possible,” said Erica Borggren, the acting director of IDOT.

The timeline will depend on land acquisition and federal approval, but the department hopes to have the airport open for cargo flights by 2020. The $702 million project, which includes a 9,500-foot runway, four passenger gates, an access road and an interchange, is expected to create 11,000 construction jobs and 14,000 long-term jobs, according to IDOT.

The department has already spent $86 million on land and still needs to secure 2,200 more acres, said Susan Shea, IDOT’s director of aeronautics.

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