Revised Budget Revealed For O’Hare Expansion Ahead Of Revised Renderings

O'Hare Global TerminalRendering of O'Hare Global Terminal by Studio Gang

An updated budget has been revealed for the new O’Hare global terminal and remote concourse project. Located at the heart of O’Hare International Airport’s central terminal complex, plans for the new terminal have been in the works for multiple years after a lengthy design competition. The project is led by the Chicago Department of Aviation (CDA) with Studio Gang and SOM working on its design.

Overview of O’Hare in October 2022 by Ian Achong

The massive project was originally announced over five years ago with an estimated budget of $6.1 billion. However since then the cost has ballooned due to increased construction and material costs as well as added projects, leading to an estimate of $7.6 billion in 2022 which was revised to $6.65 billion last year according to Crain’s. This added cost led to a stalemate with both of the airports hub airlines United and American.

Floor plan and section diagrams of the new Global Terminal by Studio Gang

While it’s worth noting that the airport does not require approval from the airlines to move ahead with the project, they will foot a majority of the cost. Because of that the city has been working to revise the budget, coming back down to the original $6.1 billion. This would be achieved by cutting nearly $300 million from the global terminal, 30-percent from the new baggage facilities, and 25-percent from the underground tunnels between the concourses.

O'Hare Global Terminal

Rendering of O’Hare Global Terminal by Studio Gang

However the airport has not fully revealed how these savings will be executed while only trimming aspects that were added on later or not required under the original agreement. This has led to speculation from airlines who claim CDA has not been able to prove these savings are viable. The airport is expected to release new renderings and additional information in the coming weeks.

Rendering of O’Hare Global Terminal by Studio Gang

The project would kick-off with two additional remote concourses connected back to the central terminal complex, one of which would be an addition to the existing concourse C. The center of it all would be the revised $1.83 billion global terminal which would replace terminal 2 with a common use facility for both hub carriers and their global partners, adding a much needed second immigration entry point.

Rendering of new remote concourse by SOM

Both of the remote concourses would need a new baggage system that connects back to the terminals, along with a tunnel that could one day hold a train as well; these were two of the components that saw a budget cut. While no further information is currently known, the airport is hoping to move forward with construction this year so as to not waste another summer season after receiving the go ahead from the FAA in 2022.

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9 Comments on "Revised Budget Revealed For O’Hare Expansion Ahead Of Revised Renderings"

  1. Steve River North | March 2, 2024 at 10:23 am | Reply

    I am assuming the CDA will remove the payoffs and kickbacks to keep the project alive. After all a paying job is better than no job. Pigs get fed hogs get slaughtered. Etc, etc.

    Is there any word on the status of the Satellites in terminal 1?

  2. I’m hoping Studio Gang can hold onto their quality design. Chicago has declined significantly in architecture through the years and Studio Gang is the only incredibly talented firm that can reverse this trend with their great composer leading the way.

  3. Come on guys – let’s get going. O’Hare used to be the leading airport in the country. It is a shadow of its former self as other airports have upgraded into the 21st century. Just take a look at what LGA did!!

  4. The new renderings look cheap

  5. Keep the design and potential for further ideas. The unions which all politicians bow to are causing the massive increase.
    Stop the unions-like was said before its a job and they will get paid nicely-no need to jack up just because unions can.

    • Robert H Dachis | March 3, 2024 at 9:31 am | Reply

      With absolutely nothing to back it up, Mr. I-Blame-My-Worthless-Life-on-Unions goes on a rant.

    • I work in an industry that employs lazy union workers -they all say i can’t be fired and I don’t have to do more than I want to- What a scam. Not all i agree but more than half which accounts fornothing to get done on time. so there

  6. 5 Years?? Its amazing that we get anything done. O’Hare used to be one of the premier airports in the world. Come on guys lets get on with it – take a look at what NYC did to LGA or even JFK.

  7. BUILD IT NOW. Ohare is getting left behind not only other American Airports but the entire world. Come on Ohare!

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