Funding Announced For Terminal 3 Upgrades At O’Hare International Airport

O'Hare Terminal 3 arrivals platform by Ian Achong

New funding has been announced for a major renovation of Terminal 3 at O’Hare International Airport. The work will help upgrade one of the busiest terminals at the airport with much needed improvements as the whole airfield moves towards the upcoming Terminal 2 expansion, and as Terminal 5 concludes its own multi-million dollar extension. The airport itself and its governing body, the Chicago Department of Aviation (CDA), are behind the work with an undisclosed architecture firm coordinating the design.

Terminal 3 map via O’Hare International Airport

The work comes after Terminal 3 received a handful of upgrades in the last couple of years including a major restroom renovation in 2020, and a new connection tunnel to the underground CTA Blue Line station. Now the work will continue as the airport seeks to complete $200 million worth of new construction at the terminal which is predominantly used by American Airlines, who operates around 380 flights a day in the summer along with other carriers within the five concourses.

Inside Concourse L of Terminal 3 by Adam Fagen

Most of the project’s scope consists of reconfiguring the terminal’s security checkpoint, something also done at Terminal 5, update its baggage handling system, and add new retail space according to Crain’s. The rest of the construction will go towards widening the walkway between concourses K and L in order to add new ADA compliant restrooms. Included in the overall work we can expect smaller upgrades like new flooring, repainting areas, and general touch-ups.

Interior view of Terminal 3 via Eater

The new funds come in the form of a $50 million grant from the 2021 infrastructure bill, completing the necessary $200 million with the rest coming from other federal funds, and fees collected from the airlines operating at the airport. Work is set to commence this summer with an anticipated completion date of 2025. Joining on going construction at Terminal 5 and its new parking garage, and new work as site preparation begins two new satellite concourses this spring in order to prepare for Terminal 2.

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