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O'Hare Oasis On Tri-State Tollway To Close After Labor Day Weekend

CHICAGO (CBS) -- As Chicagoans are are getting on the roads for the holiday weekend, workers are preparing to shut down the O'Hare Oasis above the Tri-State Tollway next week.

Restaurants have bridged the toll road for nearly 60 years, but come Wednesday the O'Hare Oasis will close for good.

The Illinois Tollway Authority said the O'Hare Travel Plaza, one of handful of its kind, is being torn down as part of an ongoing expansion of Interstate 294.

The closure will put more than 100 people out of work, and take away quick access to at least 10 restaurants. But the convenience stores and gas stations will remain open.

The iconic building must be demolished to make way for an extra lane of traffic on each side of the Tri-State.

While users of the oasis said they'll miss the affordable food and easily accessible restrooms, they hope a faster trip on the tollway will make up for the loss of convenience.

"If they're going to make it less congested, I think it's a good thing," Marvin Harvey said.

Patrick Stich said traffic is often "pretty awful" near the O'Hare Oasis. "So if that's what they need to do in order to get the flow of traffic through, I'm for it," he added.

Two days before the O'Hare Oasis closes, a group of Chicago pastors and protesters hope to shut down traffic in and out of the airport, along the nearby Kennedy Expressway.

The protest is patterned after an earlier shutdown of Lake Shore Drive. Rev. Gregory Livingston helped organize that march, and said the goal of the Labor Day protest is to disrupt commerce and travelers' flight plans in order to highlight a lack of investment in minority communities.

Beginning at noon on Labor Day, the protesters plan to walk onto the Kennedy Expressway at Cumberland, before heading west towards River Road.

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