Runway 4R-22L O’Hare International Airport

Firm: EXP U.S. Services Inc.

Other Consultants: Environmental Design International, Inc., O’Brien & Associates, Inc., ADO Engineering, Inc., Garza Karhoff Engineering, LLC, AECOM Hunt Clayco JV

Owner: Chicago Department of Aviation

Description:The EXP Team designed the rehabilitation and lighting improvements for O’Hare International Airport’s Runway 4R-22L. The runway is 8075 feet long, serves Aircraft Design Group 5, has CAT I/II/III operations, and serves most of O’Hare’s departures for southern destinations. The project included 3 inches of milling and resurfacing for the entire runway and shoulders; milling and resurfacing of existing Taxiways Y1, Y2, Y3, and Y4 up to the Runway Safety Area; replacement of 120 in-pavement runway lights; removal of existing Taxiway Y5; and installation of new lead-off lights for Taxiway V.

The project was originally planned as a traditional Design-Bid-Build project, but prior to bidding the City of Chicago determined there was not enough time for the traditional procurement process to get the project done in the summer of 2020, so the City elected to use their newly contracted Construction Manager at Risk (CMR) alternate delivery method to minimize the time of construction procurement. The Runway 4R-22L Rehabilitation project became the first airfield project in City history to be procured and delivered in this way. Traditional construction documents had to be revised quickly to suit this new delivery and procurement method.

Additionally, the project was bid and constructed during the period of the Covid-19 Pandemic, creating further obstacles to successful and timely completion. The drastic reduction in aviation traffic offered an opportunity to change the project from a night construction project to daytime construction, but the project schedule was cut from a four-month duration to only two months. Construction Administration response time was extremely compressed, and a lighting system drainage problem had to be addressed quickly in the field. The City also directed during construction that the demolition of Taxiway Y5 be removed from the CMR project and instead be completed by a Term Contractor, requiring brand new documents. Lastly, a city-directed addition of new lead-off lights for Taxiway V during construction propagated design and construction changes in the middle of the compressed schedule.

Despite all the above challenges, the project was delivered on time and on budget to the City and the airlines.

Chicago Department of Aviation

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