March 28, 2022
Project #16 in our Centennial Year countdown of our Top 100 Projects is O’Hare International Airport’s Runway 9L-27R, a 7,500-foot-long, 150-foot-wide, Group V-capable Cat II/III runway, a project that was also the first new runway completed at ORD in over 30 years. 9L-27R, which opened on November 20, 2008, was the first project of the ambitious $6B O’Hare Modernization Program (OMP), a new parallel runway system that expands capacity and increases safety at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport.
For this project Epstein was the managing partner of O'Hare Runway Designers, LLC (ORD, LLC), the engineering joint-venture responsible for designing 9L-27R. This project included a partial-length parallel taxiway and associated high-speed exits, runway and taxiway lighting, a runway and taxiway underdrain system, pavement markings, NAVAIDS systems, north airfield drainage, utilities and communication and electrical ductbanks. 9L-27R was executed while ORD remained at full operation.
Epstein was responsible for project management, conceptual design validation, design of mass grading, drainage erosion control, utilities and paving, cost estimating, QA/QC, and construction support. Epstein also provided coordination with the Department of Aviation, O’Hare Modernization Program, Federal Aviation Administration, and Transportation Security Administration as well design teams responsible for other enabling projects at the airport.
Epstein’s civil engineers also prepared plans, profiles, details and specifications for the installation of over 4,300 L.F. of new ductile iron watermain pipe (12” – 24” Dia.) as part the 9L-27R runway project. This watermain serves the north airfield including cargo, guard post and fire protection facilities.
The watermain system included tapping sleeves and valves for pressure connections, sectional and air release valves, fire hydrants, service connections and steel casing protection for installations below runways, taxiways and creeks. A cathodic protection system was installed to neutralize corrosion of the ductile iron pipe material.
In addition, Epstein’s civil engineers also prepared plans, profiles, details and specifications for the installation of over 20,000 L.F. of new ductbanks for electrical and fiber optic cables which provided communication, electrical and NAVAIDS services to the North Airfield. Each ductbank contained up to 24 - 4” conduits.