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Mayor Rahm Emanuel joined officials with the Chicago Department of Aviation (CDA) today to break ground on a new $18 million Airport Maintenance Complex (AMC) annex building at O’Hare International Airport. The new facility will house snow removal equipment that is critical to maintaining safe and efficient operations at one of the busiest airfields in the world.
“As we build new terminals, new runways, and new cargo facilities, we are going to need new fleets, new equipment, and new jobs to meet our new capacity,” said Mayor Emanuel. “This is our latest investment to ensure that O’Hare is not just the busiest airport, but the most efficient, both as an economic hub for the city, and an economic attraction for the region.”
The new 90,000-square-foot building will be erected next to the existing AMC on O’Hare’s south airfield. The annex building, together with the AMC, will provide enough capacity for the CDA’s entire fleet of more than 230 pieces of snow equipment to be kept indoors, as well as room to house additional equipment in the future.
Currently, a large portion of snow equipment is staged outdoors at the airport. Equipment that is kept outdoors is subject to dynamic year-round weather conditions that can affect performance and lead to increased maintenance. Storing equipment indoors will improve performance and reduce the amount of maintenance needed. The new building will be equipped with five extra-wide, insulated sliding doors to accommodate entry and exit of the largest snow equipment in the fleet, including the Vammas 3-in-1, which is nearly 70-feet-long and 24-feet-wide.
As with all new facilities built at Chicago’s airports, the annex building will incorporate sustainability features. At least half of the building materials will be locally sourced and the materials will contain a high level of recycled content. The building will be heated with a high efficiency radiant system that minimizes heat loss when the doors are opened. Other features include storm water management, white roof membrane to reduce heat island effect and high efficiency lighting systems.
The annex building is expected to be complete in November 2017, in time for the next winter season.
The existing O’Hare AMC, located on the northwest corner of West Montrose Avenue and Spine Road, is 32 years old and holds nearly 800 pieces of equipment. Approximately 550 employees, including motor truck drivers, laborers, fleet mechanics, Local 150 operators and U.S.D.A. wildlife biologists, work at the AMC.
The location of the AMC expansion has previously been used as a landside snow storage area, where snow is temporarily placed until it melts. The new area will be relocated approximately one mile away from the current location.
FH Paschen/SN Nielsen was awarded the contract to construct the AMC annex through a competitive bid process. Between 50 and 60 jobs will be created during construction of the building. The project will be paid for with airport funds. No local or state taxpayer dollars will be used.
The AMC annex building complements other major projects that are part of a $1.3 billion investment at O’Hare that will create the most modern and efficient airfield in the country, including a new runway (Runway 9C/27C) set to open in 2020 and a centralized deicing facility.
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