On Wednesday, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced the opening of the new multimodal facility (MMF) at Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD).

The 2.5 million- square-foot facility condenses rental car operations, public parking and other ground transportation into a single location to streamline traveler connectivity in the airport. All ground vehicles at the airport can connect at this center, lessening traffic issues and expediting passenger journeys.

“Chicago isn’t wasting any time in preparing O’Hare for the future,” said Mayor Emanuel at the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the MMF. “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.”

The project took three years to complete and had 28 percent participation by DBE participants. It also involved extending and updating the train that runs through the airport, altogether costing an estimated $841 million, partially funded by the $272 million loan Mayor Emanuel secured through the Transportation Infrastructure Finance Innovation Act (TIFIA) in 2013.  

A new parking lot containing over 2,600 spaces, including 12 electronic charging stations and fueling options, is also part of the new construction, as well as nursing rooms, a green roof, an animal relief area and a plan for concessions to open by summer 2019. The CDA is seeking LEED Certified status for the Multi Modal Facility with the U.S. Green Building Council.

The new Multi Modal Facility supports the core goals of O’Hare 21: Mayor Emanuel’s vision for a modern O’Hare. The centerpiece of this program is the $8.5 billion terminal expansion plan for O’Hare.