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Will County judge backs IDOT in airport land condemnation lawsuit

A Will County judge Friday denied a motion to dismiss a lawsuit that would allow the state to move forward with condemnation of farmland in the footprint of the planned South Suburban Airport.

Judge Susan O’Leary ruled in favor of the Illinois Department of Transportation.

Attorneys for the Barbour family had argued that state officials should not be able to take land lying in the footprint of a future airport near Peotone because the project has not been approved for construction.

The Barbour family owns three parcels that IDOT offered to purchase for $3.9 million.

But the family has refused the offer for 300 acres near Will Center Road and Eagle Lake Road in Will Township.

Attorneys claimed that the state’s attempt to take the land through eminent domain is premature, as the Federal Aviation Administration has not issued its final approval for the project.

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