Chicago O’Hare starts construction on extension of its busiest runway

Oct 27, 2019

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The Chicago Department of Aviation (CDA) broke ground Oct. 25 on an extension of Chicago O’Hare’s Runway 9R/27L, the airport’s busiest. The $334-million project will add 3,000 feet to the runway, which will allow O’Hare to handle additional larger, long-haul jets and help with on-time departures and arrivals.

The runway extension, to be completed by 2021, is the final piece of the O’Hare Modernization Program (OMP), an $8 billion effort launched in 2005. It was designed to make major upgrades at the airport, including two new runways and an extension of runway 10-L that helped reduce flight delays at the one of the busiest airports in the country.

The construction site of Chicago O’Hare’s Runway 9L/27R, opened in September 2008. Photo by Benét J. Wilson / The Points Guy

Related reading: Chicago O’Hare pedestrian tunnels are getting an upgrade

CDA is now focusing on the $8.5 billion O’Hare 21 program, the airport’s largest terminal expansion ever. It will include an upgrade and expansion of Terminal 5, demolishing Terminal 2 and rebuilding it as the O’Hare Global Terminal and renovations to Terminals 1 and 3. The project will grow O’Hare’s terminal square footage from 5.5 to 8.9 million square feet.

Image courtesy of Chicago Department of Aviation
Image courtesy of Chicago Department of Aviation

Under the current timeline, CDA expects the final design for the O’Hare Global Terminal will be completed by second quarter 2023, with an expected opening in December 2028.

Featured image courtesy of the Chicago Department of Aviation

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