Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel has officially inaugurated a new state-of-the-art ground transportation center serving O’Hare International Airport, Illinois.
The new multi-modal facility (MMF) directs rental car operations, public parking and other modes of ground transit into one centralized location to improve connectivity for travelers at the airport.
“Chicago isn’t wasting any time in preparing O’Hare for the future,” said Mayor Emanuel. “By building modern new infrastructure to better serve passengers, we are keeping O’Hare competitive in the 21st century while creating jobs for our community. As O’Hare expands over the next decade, we’ll continue to grow opportunities for the community as we make sure the airport is positioned for future economic growth and success.”
The MMF created 3,000 jobs during construction and now supports 950 permanent jobs, including 150 new rental car employees.
The 2,500,00ft2 facility provides a central access point for all rental cars, public parking, buses and light-rail services, helping to significantly reduce traffic in and around the terminals.
Jamie L Rhee, commissioner of the Chicago Department of Aviation (CDA), the airport operator, said, “We are proud to bring O’Hare travelers this new centralized facility to make their experience arriving and departing more convenient and more efficient. As we look ahead to O’Hare’s future, our capital projects will further elevate the passenger experience, while continuing to spur jobs and economic growth for our residents right here at home.”
The completed MMF, coupled with the extension and modernization of the train station, is valued at US$841m. The project was partially financed with a US$272m Transportation Infrastructure Finance Innovation Act (TIFIA) loan secured by Mayor Emanuel and Illinois leaders in 2013. No local tax dollars were used for the project.
The MMF also provides expanded public parking, with a new Parking Lot F comprising more than 2,600 parking spaces and offering parking guidance technology to help passengers easily find their vehicles. Other features include 12 electronic charging stations; multi-level fueling; two mother rooms; service animal relief area; a green roof; and a future concessions location set to open in summer 2019. CDA is seeking LEED Certified status for the MMF with the US Green Building Council.
The facility was designed by Carol Ross Barney Architects along with Transystems; and executed by Austin Powers Partners, a joint venture comprised of Austin Commercial, Power Construction and Ujamaa Construction.