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Chicago Department of Aviation
O’hare Airport Terminal 5 Expansion & Modernization


Date of Performance:


Completion Date:



Project Location:

Cook County, IL

DuPage County, IL



Chicago Department of Aviation


Project Role:

Structural Engineering Design Services


Dollar Value of Project:

$1.2 Billion

Chicago O’Hare International Airport’s Terminal 5 Expansion and Modernization project will provide 10 much-needed new gates and create 350,000 square feet of new space. The undertaking is the first major expansion of Terminal 5 since it opened in 1993, and will increase the terminal’s capacity by 25 percent, adding new gates and upgrading existing gate sizes to accommodate the larger aircraft increasingly used for international flights. It will also add new businesses, baggage handling systems, and other new features. The scope of work includes analyzing and retrofitting the existing structural steel composite beams for additional loading from new security scanning equipment.

Garza Karhoff Engineering provided structural engineering services for the re-planning of the Federal Inspection Service (FIS)/Domestic Baggage Claim and CBP operations to meet airline and tenant needs for staged modifications of Terminal 5. This involves details for various floor openings and slab modifications for new layouts, design of new baggage handling support framing adjacent to the terminal and over two access driveways, reviewing structural steel shop drawings for design of Terminal 5 East Concourse and Headhouse addition, as well as providing periodic site observations during construction of the East Concourse and Headhouse additions.

Key Issues Faced: Last minute addition to the scope of work, such as design of exterior baggage cover structure with constant changes to baggage conveyor layout and limited time availability.

Innovative Solution: Worked with the Architect and Baggage Contractor on a tight schedule to finish the design and drawings within the allotted time. Modelling in Revit to visualize and resolve the conflicts with other disciplines. Solving any conflicts within budget and schedule.

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