2009 - 2015 / Chicago, Illinois

O’Hare International Airport, Runway 10R-28L


City of Chicago, Department of Aviation 2009 - 2015 / Chicago, Illinois


Civil Engineering
MEPFP Engineering
Structural Engineering





Epstein, along with the Michael Baker Corporation, were the managing partners for O'Hare Runway Designers, LLC (ORD). ORD was the Lead Engineer and Engineer of Record for Runway 10R-28L, the third new east-west parallel runway of the O'Hare Airport Modernization Program, which opened on October 15, 2015.


Runway 10R-28L is a new 7500 foot long, 150 foot wide, CAT II/III all-weather runway. ORD's design services included demolition, earthwork, grading, pavements, geometrics, NAVAIDS, drainage, storm water conveyance, erosion and sedimentation control, utilities, lighting, signing, and pavement marking.

OHare-Modernization-Program-Runway-10R-2 The design of Runway 10R-28L demonstrated the use of many innovative and unique applications of new and existing engineering techniques including Navigational Aids (NAVAIDS) and South Airfield Fiber Optics Transmission System (FOTS) as well as significant design coordination of various enabling projects by other consultants.


Runway 10R-28L provided a unique challenge for that required specialized soils and pavement design, experienced aviation geometric engineering for the layout of the runway and taxiway, extensive electrical engineering to lay out the power and control circuitry for the runway NAVAIDS lighting and navigational equipment, and complicated civil engineering to develop the surrounding terrain to meet FAA and airport owner requirements.


Runway 10R-28L also features numerous sustainable design and construction techniques utilized to construct the runway. Because of its nature, aviation runway and pavement work is typically somewhat difficult to provide significant sustainable elements. But the OMP and the City of Chicago placed a major emphasis on including sustainable elements in the design of the runway. The Epstein-led engineering team worked closely with the OMP to identify how this could be accomplished. As a result, recycled materials were utilized when possible in the paving contract and the design also specified the use of warm mix asphalt for runway and taxiway shoulders. This material is produced and placed at a much lower temperature than typical asphalt thus saving on energy use. In addition, light-emitting diode (LED) lights are being used for the runway and taxiway centerline, edge line and touch down lights. LED lights have lower energy consumption and a longer life span.



Green Airplane Certification
2017, Chicago Department of Aviation

Green Airplane Certification
2017, Chicago Department of Aviation

Green Airplane Certification
2017, Chicago Department of Aviation

Green Airplane Certification
2017, Chicago Department of Aviation

Honor Award – Transportation
2016, American Council of Engineering Companies (Illinois Chapter)


Thomas E. Smiles, PE
Senior Vice President, Director of Engineering