As it waits for a final blessing from the Federal Aviation Administration, the City of Chicago is pushing forward with design and engineering for its $6.6-billion O’Hare International Airport rehabilitation project.

On Nov. 12, officials invited four of five venture enterprises—led by Parsons, Bovis Lend Lease, DMJM Aviation and URS Corp.—to resubmit their program-management qualifications for final selection by early January, says Roderick Drew, spokesman for the O'Hare Modernization Program. But Bechtel-led PMO Partners, another joint venture in the running, was disqualified because it "took issue" with revealing contract and company specifics on the Internet under the city’s public-disclosure policy, Drew says.


FAA’s final approval may not come for another 12 months, but that is not stopping the city from getting an early jump on construction drawings for Phase One, a $2.9-billion project largely comprising three runway relocations, the bulk of total airfield work. Rosemarie S. Andolino, OMP executive director, says the airport will “be ready to begin construction” as soon as FAA issues its record of decision, expected mid-to-late next year (ENR 8/18 p. 16).

The city also signed on five design teams for Phase One with fees expected to total $15 million to $20 million, pending final negotiations. Firms selected include the following joint ventures:

  • O’Hare Runway Designers, with A. Epstein & Sons, Baker Engineering, Globetrotters Engineering, Post Buckley Schuh & Jernigan, Louis Jones Enterprises, Spaan Tech, Fulle/rton Engineering and Robert & Co.;
  • O’Hare Airfield Engineers, with Earth Tech, Delta Engineering, Edwards & Kelcey and Milhouse Engineering;
  • Metropolitan Aviation Partners, with HNTB, EDI and Soodan & Associates;
  • MWH/Delta, with Montgomery Watson Harza, Delta Engineering and Infrastructure Engineering;
  • TSD Rail Specialists, with TranSystems Inc., Delta Engineering, Rubinos & Mesia and Parsons Brinckerhoff.

According to city officials, nine other teams were selected for 10 smaller engineering tasks with fees totaling $10 million to $15 million. They are H.W. Lochner, Burns & McDonnell, Shah Engineering, Consoer Townsend Envirodyne, STV, MACTEC, Environmental Design International, McDonough & Associates and Kudrna & Associates.

The city is funding the project through a mix of federal dollars, airport revenue bonds and passenger fees, hoping to reduce overall delays by 79% by the time the 10- to 15-year project is complete.