Runway 9R-27L Extension-West & East

  • Runway 9R-27L Extension-West & East
  • Runway 9R-27L Extension-West & East
  • Runway 9R-27L Extension-West & East
  • Runway 9R-27L Extension-West & East


Client:  Chicago Department of Aviation

Location: Chicago, IL


West Phase

By extending this runway by 3,600 feet, O’Hare International Airport’s most heavily used runway can offer improved passenger service as the capacity to handle more frequent flights by larger, long-haul aircraft increases.

Work began within the Object Free Area (OFA) of Taxiways Z and J, with the construction of new PCC and bituminous airfield pavement, along with the associated grading, drainage, electrical, and pavement marking. Also included was the construction of NAVAID access roads, site work/grading, and infrastructure associated with the Runways 9R ALSF-2 high-intensity approach lighting system with sequenced flashing lights and shelter, Runway 27L localizer, far-field monitor, and inner marker. Immediately following this phase, site demolition, clearing/grubbing, utility demolition, earthwork, and grading began for the construction of the remainder of the site. Completed concurrently, while Work Areas 1 and 2 proceeded, temporary grading and installation of a temporary access road took place within the Runway 9R MALSR Light Plane.

East Phase

Work on this, the second half of the last runway extension project under the O’Hare Modernization Plan (OMP), was broken up into several phases in order to keep the adjacent runways in operation to the greatest extent possible.

The first work area included pavement demolition, construction of a new PCC and bituminous airfield pavement and associated grading, drainage, electrical, pavement marketing, and other work in areas outside of the Taxiway Object Free Area (TOFA) of Taxiways T and J, as well as the 27L ALSF shelter site. The following work took place on the 9R extension itself, as well as continuing work on Taxiway T and new work on Taxiways G and H outside of the Runway Safe Area (RSA). Afterward, while work continued on Taxiway G, work also began on Taxiway PP with Taxiway R beginning thereafter. This work was completed by the fall of 2020.

Work will begin on future phases starting in February of 2021. In addition to taxiway work that will occur in the next phase, the shoulders of the existing pavement for the runway were resurfaced. As taxiway work and shoulder resurfacing continued in each following phase, work was also completed on NAVAIDs, blast pads, and taxiway holding areas. The actual extension of the runway length occurred near the end of the project once enabling work was complete. NAVAID work will include the glide slope, precision approach path indicator (PAPI) lighting system, Localizer shelters, and both the 9R and 27L ALSF shelters and light lanes.

Services Provided

Our team provided construction inspection, scheduling services, contract administration, and office engineering support for this project—providing managerial and clerical services to implement and enforce all applicable codes, standards, specifications, policies, and procedures.

With a full understanding of the project scope, plans, and specifications, our team also coordinated between the direct project assignment and other active Program assignments.

While preparing for the bidding process, quantities submitted by the project teams were verified before acceptance, and pay estimates were prepared. Pre-bid meetings were held prior to subcontract packages being solicited, and Requests for Information were received and answered.

As contracts were awarded, all required paperwork was collected and reviewed. Paperwork at the start of construction, as well as at monthly payment intervals, included pay estimate submittals, sworn statements, subcontractor payment certification, M/W/DBE status reports, certified payrolls, canvass reports, partial waivers of liens, etc. Contracts, maintained in the CDA Computer Database (Prolog Converge), were set up by our team and administered throughout the project, including Contract Document review for Method of Measurement and Basis of Payment sections.

During construction, the following reports and documentation were prepared and submitted for approval: Resident Engineers’ Field Orders, Proposed Contract Modifications (PCM), Request for Contract Modifications (RCM), Line Item Changes (LIC) Inspectors’ Daily Reports (IDR), Daily Construction Reports (DCR—including non-conformance reports (NCRs) or Quality Deficiency Reports (QDRs)), and Field Orders for Time & Material work. The approvals of all the listed reports, as applicable, were tracked and secured.

Based on updates received during weekly project meetings (including DOA Construction Working Operations Group meetings: CWOG, and Short Term Operations and Phasing: STOP), the resource-loaded, Primavera-based CPM Schedule would be updated and analyzed regularly, comparing contractors’ actual work completed against anticipated milestones and the program master schedule. Continued compliance with sustainable requirements, soil erosion and conservation requirements, safety protocols (including FAA Part 139), the CM Quality Assurance Plan, and other contractual obligations was assured by Construction Inspectors. The ongoing development of as-built documents throughout the project was monitored by our team, as well.

With regard to subcontractor/supplier coordination and invoice/monthly payment request processing, Contractors’ invoices were reviewed for alignment with quantity measurements of units of work completed and compliance with Contract Documents. Any outstanding Requests for Information (RFI), Submittals (processed in hard copy with the FAA and EOR), Requests for Inspection of Materials (RFIM) and mechanics liens were tracked and processed, as well. This information, as well as audit of M/W/DBE utilization/certified payrolls and certificates of insurance, was compiled into the monthly contract close-out as well as the final project close-out documentation. Updates from the Pay Estimates were integrated with the project budgets in order to ensure that actual expenditures tracked with anticipated spending.