October 18, 2016
Last week, during the Construction Managers Association of American National Conference, Runway 10R-28L, a 7,500 foot long, 150 foot wide, CAT II/III all-weather runway at O'Hare International Airport, was chosen as National Project of the Year. For this project Epstein managed and providing co-lead engineering services, along with the Michael Baker Corporation, for the design of 10R-28L's earthwork, grading, pavements, geometrics, NAVAIDS, drainage, storm water conveyance, erosion and sedimentation control, utilities, lighting, signing, and pavement marking.
The planning, design and construction of Runway 10R-28L was a complex and complicated project. In addition to the runway design, the runway location required significant property acquisition, relocating an IDOT five lane road, relocating a railroad, relocating a major ditch and relocating the airfield's south access road and guard post.This all had to be accomplished at one of the nation's busiest airports while conforming to the requirements and the standards of the O'Hare Modernization Program (OMP), Federal Aviation Administration, the Chicago Department of Aviation as well as the numerous user airlines.
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 co-led engineering team worked closely with the OMP to identify how this could be accomplished.As a result, recycled materials were utilized whenever 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 were used for the runway and taxiway centerline, edge line and touch down lights.These LED lights have lower energy consumption and a longer life span.
Lastly, Runway 10R-28L significantly improves O'Hare's East flow arrival and departure rates in all weather conditions, which increases throughput and helps to reduce delays. The runway has also had a positive impact on aircraft noise for communities near O'Hare because it allows air traffic to be more balanced to the east and west of the airport.