Structural pieces for the new air traffic control tower are undergoing installation at Chicago O’Hare’s new $1.2 billion Terminal 5 expansion.
This 1.1 million-square-foot project is being developed by the Chicago Department of Aviation alongside architecture firms HOK and Muller & Muller. Beyond the renovation of the existing 750,000-square-foot terminal, the project is set to add the aforementioned air traffic control tower and an additional 350,000 square feet of space. This added section will include 10 new gates and 25 percent more of the terminal’s total gate capacity.
Additional features include but are not limited to additional airline lounge space, more concessions and passenger amenities, expanded security checkpoints, and an upgraded baggage handling system. There will also be a new multi-story parking garage with further short- and long-term parking.
The renovated terminal has an angular contemporary design, whose massing is reminiscent of a futuristic aircraft. Beneath the undulating white-paneled roof are expansive floor-to-ceiling windows and a spacious interior.
While Terminal 5 has served as the airport’s international terminal, Delta Airlines also plans to relocate from its domestic service from Terminal 2 to Terminal 5. Further plans for the terminal also include plans to improve the baggage handling system, an expansion to the parking garage, multiple roadway enhancements for traffic alleviation, as well as an expanded curbside area to improve the drop-off process and pedestrian navigation.
Beyond the airport parking and in-progress garage, airport personnel and travelers have access to the newly opened airport transit system, which provides direct access to the Metro, the Kiss ‘n’ Fly, and Pace Buses.
Power Construction is serving as general contractor, with a completion date anticipated for next year. Meanwhile, planning is still underway for the Jeanne Gang-designed “Global Terminal,” set to span 2.2 million square feet. This massive next stage is anticipated to break ground in 2023 and open in 2028.
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Until the new Terminal 5 is ready for passengers the Airport needs to improve the signs directing traffic around the airport. I was TERRIFIED while trying to drive to pickup arriving passengers from Ireland on Air Lingus. I had to go around twice until I could understand which lanes to use and the police were entirely unhelpful. Thankfully I do not meet many passengers coming in to this Terminal but this was my granddaughter who had been in Glasgow for the Climate conference. No one slows down, everyone switches lanes and drives erratically. Someone is going to get hurt out there.
They’re gonna have a Turkish bizarre where you can buy real oriental rugs and copper wares. Your airline will accommodate with carry on sizing. It’s gonna be great.