O’Hare 21 - Telecommunications Infrastructure
The City of Chicago’s historic $8.5 billion O’Hare 21 project is underway to modernize O’Hare International Airport with new facilities and modern infrastructure over the next decade, marking the largest expansion and first major capital improvements to its passenger terminals in more than 25 years. O’Hare 21 will grow the airport’s overall terminal square footage by more than 60% from 5.5 to 8.9 million square feet, increase aircraft gate frontage by 25% and deliver a more streamlined passenger experience to enable O’Hare’s future growth by better connecting travelers and Chicago to other parts of the world.
The massive investment aims to set new records and fuel more connectivity, tourism and economic impact for Chicago well into the future. O’Hare 21 is projected to directly create more than 60,000 jobs over the course of the program. The overall regional economic impact is expected to contribute at least $50 billion to the region and create at least 460,000 regional jobs in the next eight years.
The project will be delivered in phases, with an expanded Terminal 5 representing the first major terminal upgrade at O’Hare. Construction of the satellite concourses and supporting infrastructure will begin in 2022. Once the satellites are online, construction of the O’Hare Global Terminal can begin, replacing Terminal 2. The program also includes enhancements to integrate Terminals 1 and 3 into the O’Hare Global Terminal to enable seamless passenger connections.
O’Hare 21 represents an unprecedented opportunity for local participation, including contracting opportunities at all levels and tens of thousands of jobs that have been forecast for the program.
The City of Chicago has awarded Construction Manager at-Risk (CMAR) to Austin Power Partners, Turner Paschen Aviation Partners and AECOM Hunt Clayco JV for key O’Hare 21 projects. These key projects include the Terminal 5 expansion, the new Satellite Terminal 2 and its associated APM tunnel, mass grading required for a future employee parking and security facility and various projects that will enable the construction of future O’Hare 21 projects such as the O’Hare Global Terminal and Global Concourse.
The CMARs are responsible for representing the City’s best interests and ensuring these complex projects are completed on time, on budget and with a commitment to diversity and local participation. This emphasis on inclusion will lead to widespread economic growth in the region for years to come.
As part of the AECOM Hunt Clayco JV team, Level-1 is actively participating in the CMAR program. Level-1 is working closely with O’Hare 21 architects and designers to design the telecommunications infrastructure and electrical systems for Terminal 5 along with the upcoming build-out of two new satellite concourses. Level-1 will also serve as the IT provider for the future Global Terminal.
O’Hare reclaimed its top spot as the nation’s busiest airport in 2018 by operating more than 900,000 flights for the first time since 2007. As O’Hare adds gates and improves its terminals, passenger volumes are expected to keep pace with a strong demand for air travel worldwide, which, according to aviation experts, will double to 14 billion air travelers in the next decade.