Parsons to Design and Manage Construction of Transit System Expansion at O’Hare International Airport

Posted on in News Archive

USA: Parsons has been selected by the City of Chicago’s Department of Aviation to replace and expand O’Hare International Airport’s Automated Transit System (ATS) on a design-build basis.

"The City of Chicago is pleased to move forward with the expansion of O'Hare's Airport Transit System," said Mayor Rahm Emanuel. "This project and the ensuing Consolidated Rental Car Facility (CRCF) will allow O'Hare to continue building for a more efficient and sustainable future while creating a more convenient experience for the millions of travellers who depend on O'Hare."

Parsons will manage construction of the project, which involves replacement of the existing ATS between terminals and a 2,000‑ft extension to service the new consolidated rental car station as well as expansion of the maintenance and storage facility and replacement of the existing 15‑vehicle fleet with 36 new rail cars with automated vehicle control, traction power, and communications improvements. Parsons will also self‑perform the design for the traction power, communications, and track work while performing systems integration and commissioning work for the entire project.

Rendering of the Consolidated Rental Car Facility with ATS extension at O'Hare

“Parsons is pleased to partner with Chicago’s Department of Aviation on this important project at O’Hare International Airport, one of the busiest airports in the world,” said Todd Wager, Parsons Group President. “The airport ATS replacement and expansion project will save time and enhance convenience for the many travellers to Chicago.”

O’Hare International Airport’s ATS is a 3‑mile, dual‑lane, fully automated, driverless rail system that operates 24 hours per day, 7 days a week among the airport’s four airline terminals and Parking Lot E (Remote Parking and Long‑Term Parking). The ATS expansion will replace bus curbside pickup of rental car customers, mitigating traffic congestion and improving air quality through the reduction of vehicle emissions.

This $310 million project is Parsons’ third design-build automated people mover (APM) project. Parsons has also provided construction management services on numerous other APMs.
This contract is part of the Chicago Department of Aviation (CDA) $782 million CRCF project that will consolidate all of the rental car companies into one facility, as well as offer new public garage parking for airport passengers.

As with all CDA capital improvement projects, no local or state tax dollars will be utilized for this project. Funding for the CRCF project was secured in July of 2013 in the form of a Transportation Infrastructure Finance Innovation Act (TIFIA) loan of $292 million, in combination with previously issued and authorized general airport bond revenues making available the funds to finance a $782 million multi-modal development project.