As part of the long-term rapid transit and airport expansion program, the City of Chicago needed to extend the Chicago Transit Authority’s Jefferson Park/Congress light rail line down the median of the Kennedy Expressway to a terminal at the airport. To do so, the City had to construct the station beneath an existing five-story parking garage and create a tunnel system to transfer passengers directly from the train station to the various airport arrival and departure concourses.
Benesch prepared preliminary plans and final contract documents for the track work, tunnel, station enclosure and vertical transportation system. These plans had to allow for construction access to the site without any major impact to airport operations or parking garage access.
Benesch performed a value engineering study of the station enclosure beneath the parking garage. The result of the study simplified excavation beneath the garage, reduced construction time for the enclosure, eliminated water seepage into the enclosure and reduced the construction cost by $2,000,000. This solution also enhanced the space available to the station architect by increasing ceiling heights and providing additional ancillary space.