Chicago's Northerly Island, formerly an airport, now a park

CHICAGO (AP) — Twelve years ago, then Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley, citing security concerns following the 9/11 terror attacks, sent backhoes to carve X's into the Meigs Field runway on Northerly Island.

A 40-acre park will open Friday on the southern half of the 91-acre site that in the 1930s hosted the Century of Progress Exposition before it became an airport.

The city spent $9.7 million to build the park, which features man-made hills, a 5-acre lagoon and a winding bike and pedestrian trail. The cost was covered by $6.3 million in federal funds and $3.4 million from the Chicago Park District.

Northerly Island is actually a peninsula linked by a land bridge that leads to the Adler Planetarium, the Shedd Aquarium and the Field Museum.