By Keith Laing - 03/09/11 04:02 PM EST
The new runway is to accommodate large, new airplanes like the Boeing 747-8.
Chicago Mayor-elect Rahm Emanuel called the O'Hare expansion critical during his campaign last fall and winter. Emanuel pledged to "keep it on budget and complete it."
Two of the largest airlines that serve O'Hare, United and American, have fought the plan, arguing it will cause higher landing fees at the airport. The two sued the Chicago in January, saying the plan violated the airlines' O'Hare lease. The project is anticipated to cost $3.4 billion.
Bids for work on the project will be accepted beginning Wednesday at Chicago City Hall.