For more than fifteen years, WSP USA has served as construction manager to the Chicago Department of Aviation (CDA) for the OMP. To date, the program has successfully completed the construction of three new runway components, reconstruction of one runway, and construction of two air traffic control towers and numerous other airside facilities.
Completed Runways include:
- New Runway 9L-27R, completed in November 2008
- New Runway 10C-28C, completed in October 2013
- New Runway 10R-28L, completed in October 2015
- Reconstructed Runway 4L-22R, completed in October of 2019
In September 2008, we completed work on a 3,000-foot extension of O’Hare’s most active runway, Runway 10L-28R. We managed construction of two Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certified air traffic control towers — one certified Gold and one certified Silver — and in 2019, the team celebrated the opening of the Central Deicing Facility, commissioning of the Aircraft Rescue and Firefighting Station#2 and completion of the runway status lights for Runway 9R.
Currently, the WSP team is managing construction of the new 200-foot-wide x 11,240-foot-long Category II/III Runway 9C-27C, set to commission in November of 2020. The final piece of the OMP will be the approximately 3,600-foot extension of Runway 9R-27L, which began in the summer of 2019 and will be completed in late 2021.
In total, the OMP is constructing/rehabilitating/reconfiguring more than 20 miles of airfield to create a more efficient runway/taxiway system, accommodate larger A380 aircraft and reduce noise impacts on communities surrounding the airport. In addition to the runway and facilities elements, the program involves movement of nearly 40 million cubic yards of earthwork; relocation of a state highway, Union Pacific Railroad line, the four-building FedEx Cargo Sorting Facility and St. Johannes Cemetery; and extensive airfield systems upgrades.
WSP assisted the CDA in developing intricate, comprehensive phasing plans and is coordinating extensively with all airport stakeholders including the CDA, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), airlines and air cargo carriers, to maintain operations during construction on the active airfield.
Safety and sustainability are also of paramount importance in the implementation of the OMP. WSP developed the program’s Safety Management System and worked with the CDA and a panel of stakeholders to identify risks and mitigations, and to update the airport’s safety programs and protocols to meet FAA requirements. Incorporation of green roofs on eight new structures, extensive recycling of materials, and an earthwork management plan that reused 30 million cubic yards of soils are key elements of the sustainability program, which serves as a model for building large-scale environment-conscious construction programs.