O’Hare Runway 9C-27C earns Honor and Judges Choice Awards from ACEC-Illinois

HNTB and Milhouse Engineering and Construction collaborated as part of team that delivered O’Hare’s newest and second-longest runway for the Chicago Department of Aviation

CHICAGO (Feb. 24, 2022)O’Hare Runway 9C-27C was awarded an Honor Award at the Engineering Excellence Awards 2022 presented by the American Council of Engineering Companies–Illinois. Frank Grimaldi, Deputy Commissioner, Construction and Alex Leon, Deputy Commissioner – Design & GIS, for the Chicago Department of Aviation, accepted the award during the in-person event held Feb. 17, 2022, at the Hyatt Regency O’Hare in Chicago. Later in the evening, the project also received a Judges Choice Award given to the project voted “Best in Category” for the Transportation category.

HNTB served as lead engineer for the project, responsible for airfield geometry, airfield electrical, FAA Navigational Aids, grading, earthwork, structural and construction phasing. The firm also led construction phase support. As a key partner, HNTB helped the airport identify a viable site for a new employee parking lot and re-phased portions of the project to expand the original work scope to upgrade the existing North Airfield Lighting Control Vault.

Milhouse Engineering and Construction led the utility design for the HNTB team, including two sanitary lift stations designs, service road design, ASR-9 site design and rehabilitation of the North Airfield Lighting Control Vault. It also coordination extensively with the client and the FAA for four major Fiber Optic Transmission System loops in the North Airfield. The utility design required close coordination with the client and the contractors as the utility systems were divided among four construction packages, requiring phased connections to maintain utility service on the airfield.

HNTB’s McAndrews

“It’s great to see years of hard work become reality,” Bob McAndrews, HNTB project principle, said. “Many thanks to everyone at HNTB who worked on this project, including our strong team of subconsultant partners Milhouse Engineering & Construction, APS Consulting, CKL Engineers, Wang Engineering, Autumn Construction, ESI Consultants and the Chicago Department of Aviation for their collaboration.”

“Building a major new runway in the middle of one of the world’s busiest airports requires an experienced design team that effectively communicates and coordinates with a multitude of stakeholders,” said Wilbur C. Milhouse, Chairman/CEO of Milhouse Engineering and Construction, Inc. “Milhouse is proud to have worked alongside HNTB on this project by leading the utility design and coordination with the Chicago Department of Aviation and the Federal Aviation Administration. It is an honor to be recognized by ACEC–Illinois for a project which positively affects the nearly 200,000 people that fly through O’Hare International Airport on a daily basis.”

The $8.5 billion O’Hare Modernization Program was initiated by the City of Chicago and the Chicago Department of Aviation in 2001 to create an efficient and reliable system of runways to help reduce delays, increase capacity and support current needs of O’Hare International Airport while providing future growth opportunities.

At 11,245 feet long and 200 feet wide, Runway 9C-27C opened for business Nov. 5, 2020, when a United Airlines Boeing 777 took off for Seattle. It is engineered to Federal Aviation Administration Design Group VI standards and can accommodate all aircraft flying today, including the Airbus-A380 and the Boeing 747-8 aircrafts. As ORD’s second-longest runway and first new runway since 2015, it helps balance flight activity between the north and south airfields and associated effects on neighboring communities.

A CDA-produced video overview of the project is available here.