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$8.5B O'Hare Project Inks Another Contract

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

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Officials for the $8.5 billion Chicago O’Hare International Airport expansion recently announced that they have officially inked the contract with design firm Skidmore Owings & Merrill.

The firm was first tapped for the project in July, which consists of designed a pair of connecting concourses. The firm had lost in the bid for the larger, International Terminal.

Some Background

The expansion was approved by the city council back in April 2018, with the biggest piece of the puzzle being that the 55-year-old Terminal 2 would be torn down to make room for a new global terminal with wider concourses and gates that could accommodate larger aircraft intended for international flights. Terminals 1, 3 and 5 are set to be renovated, with two new satellite concourses to be built and connected to the new global terminal via an underground pedestrian tunnel.

More than 3.1 million square feet of terminal space is being added, a 72% increase over the current 4.3 million square feet.

City of Chicago

Officials for the $8.5 billion Chicago O’Hare International Airport expansion recently announced that they have officially inked the contract with design firm Skidmore Owings & Merrill.

Once construction of the air field is completed, O’Hare will operate six east-west runways and two diagonal runways, resulting in dozens of new gates opening over the next eight years. The expansion is also slated to include a new parking and security screening facility for airline employees, a Terminal 5 parking garage and three new baggage systems.

Former Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s office said that the project “will create more than 60,000 construction jobs for the next eight years, and tens of thousands of new permanent jobs with the airport, airlines, tourism and supporting industries to support a larger, modern airport complex in the next decade.”

Emanuel launched a Request for Qualifications for the project to architects all over the world in June of that year.

The city received bids from a dozen groups. (Those that did not make the shortlist included notable names such as Bjarke Ingels Group, Perkins + Will, HOK and Grimshaw Architects.)

The five that made the cut for the shortlist, announced in November, included Fentress-EXP-Brook-Garza Joint Venture Partners; Foster Epstein Moreno JV Joint Venture Partners; Santiago Calatrava LLC; SOM; and Studio ORD Joint Venture Partners.

Designs from the five were revealed to the public in January 2019, and in March, Emanuel announced that the design from Studio ORD was chosen for the task and began the contract negotiations with the joint venture, which includes Corgan Associates Inc., Milhouse Engineering and Construction Inc., STL Architects Inc., Solomon Cordwell Buenz & Associates Inc. and Studio Gang Architects Ltd.

In May, Mayor Lori Lightfoot inked the deal with Studio ORD, led by Chicago architects Jeanne Gang.

The contract is worth about $160 million.

Studio ORD

Once construction of the air field is completed, O’Hare will operate six east-west runways and two diagonal runways, resulting in dozens of new gates opening over the next eight years. The expansion is also slated to include a new parking and security screening facility for airline employees, a Terminal 5 parking garage and three new baggage systems.

The city also awarded three construction manager-at-risk contracts, each for $116 million, to Austin Powers Partners, Turner Paschen Aviation Partners and AECOM Hunt Clayco Joint Venture.

This Contract

Chicago’s Department of Aviation announced in July that SOM will be handling two new satellite buildings—dubbed S1 and S2—which combined for about 1.2 million square feet and will connect to the new Global Terminal via underground tunnels.

While the two structures will cost an estimated $1.4 billion, SOM’s contract is reportedly for $140 million.

According to the Chicago Tribune, ground is slated to be broken on the two satellite courses in January 2022. This will begin before the existing Terminal 2 can be demolished and building begins on the Global Terminal.

While the contract details were announced, officials also noted that they have selected a third design group, HNTB, for other aspects of the expansion such as the central tunnel system. The details for that contract have not been finalized.

“Having two or three lead designers in place and working in parallel is a critical moment for the overall success of the O’Hare 21 program,” city Aviation Commissioner Jamie Rhee said in a statement. “We have assembled a team of unparalleled vision and talent, and every traveler who uses O’Hare will benefit.”

Rhee has noted that despite considerable setbacks on other parts of the project, such as the “people mover” light rail system, the project is still expected to be completed on time and on budget. That system had initially been slated to finish by December 2018, but has been pushed to spring of this year.

As a whole, the revamp is slated to be complete in 2028.

   

Tagged categories: Airports; Architects; Contract awards; Contracts; Good Technical Practice; NA; North America; Ongoing projects

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