Chicago — Michael Baker International joined the Chicago Department of Aviation (CDA) in celebrating the official opening of a new runway at Chicago O’Hare International Airport on Thursday, Oct. 15. Company representatives gathered with city and state officials to christen Runway 10R-28L at a public unveiling.  Michael Baker was part of the team that designed the runway, which is now being used primarily for domestic and international arrivals at a major hub in the nation’s airport system.

“As part of the design team on this runway project, Michael Baker has played an important role in O’Hare’s ongoing efforts to increase capacity and enhance efficiency at one of the busiest airports in the world,” said Kurt Bergman, CEO of Michael Baker International. “Our airports are a critical part of this nation’s infrastructure, and in many cases, they are in need of substantial upgrades to accommodate modern air travel and steady increases in passenger traffic. With our full continuum of innovative solutions, global reach and local focus, we’re poised to help departments of aviation meet the demands of today and tomorrow.”

Michael Baker experts oversaw the development and implementation of a comprehensive engineering plan for the runway’s pavement geometry. The plan also incorporated FAA approach lighting systems for each end of the runway. In addition, the company completed engineering work on a host of enabling projects prior to the development of the runway, including the relocation of fence sections and a critical south airfield guard post as well as the design of taxiway tie-ins to the existing infrastructure.  

“Michael Baker’s commitment to making a difference in its local communities is clearly evident with our involvement in this multi-year airfield improvement project,” added John P. O’Neill, vice president and office executive for Michael Baker’s Chicago office.  “Our ongoing partnership with CDA will help O’Hare to create an enhanced passenger experience for the millions of travelers that come through our great city every year.” 

Launched in 2003, the airport’s airfield improvement project involves $8 billion in infrastructure investment. When the project is completed, the airport will operate a new system of six parallel and two crosswind runways.

Initially constructed in 1942, Chicago O’Hare International Airport ranks as the busiest airport in the world based on the number of takeoffs and landings and the sixth busiest airport in the world in terms of passenger traffic.