Infrastructure Construction at O’Hare

Harbour provided construction management for infrastructure construction services to relocate a 90-inch water transmission main for the City of Chicago. The existing 90-inch water transmission main ran directly beneath Runway 18L/36R of O’Hare International Airport and conflicted with proposed airport improvements. The relocation of the 90-inch water main avoids new north Runway 9L/27R being constructed as part of the multi-billion-dollar expansion at O’Hare.

Jawa 90

The 25-year-old 90-inch water main served seven communities with a population of 315,000 and had to remain in service throughout the project. The pipe size and design water pressure within the pipe, combined with the social and economic impacts, made this a one-of-a-kind project.

Aviation Construction Cost Savings

Using the hot tap over the next best alternative resulted in $80 Million in cost savings. Additionally, Stopple technology allowed the 90-inch water main to be relocated without customer service interruption.

This project also included 48-inch temporary bypass lines 3,500 feet and 1,600 feet in length to reduce the new 90-inch water central installation by approximately 50% and initiate revisions to the master schedule for airport expansion. A thrust block restraining collar was used that absorbed the internal and external forces, transferring all loads from the hot tap and the pressurized pipe into the ground using ten large diameter caissons tied together with a concrete cradle and steel tube framing. After the pipe was tapped and the bypass was fully operational, the new 90-inch water main was connected and switched over seamlessly.

Ready to get started?

Contact An Expert

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.


O'Hare International Airport
Chicago Department of Aviation


Construction Manager


Burns & McDonnell


Contract: NSM JAWA 90" Water Main Hot Tap: $5.9M
JAWA 90" Water Main Relocation: $15.5M
$80M in Cost Savings




311 South Wacker Drive
American Airlines Maintenance Hangar
AT&T Plaza
WM Bluff City Transfer Station
BP/Amoco Executive Jet Hangar
Burr Ridge Police Station
Huntington Bank Pavilion at Northerly Island
Chicago’s 12th (Near West) District Police Station
Chicago’s 23rd, Now 19th District Police Station
Dearborn Station
DuPage Airport Executive Hangar
Gary/Chicago Airport Executive Hangar
Ha-Lo/Shure Offices
Harbour Headquarters and Corporate Office
Harger Woods Corporate Center
Kendall County Public Safety Center
Lake Shore Drive
Lewis University Airport Private Hangar
Local 399 Union Hall and Training Center
LyondellBasell Morris Manufacturing Complex
Morris Municipal Services Facility
Museum Campus
Nature’s Care Co. Dispensary
Neil Enterprises Headquarters and Distribution
Oak Brook Public Library
Oak Brook Municipal Complex and Fire Station
Oak Brook Shopping Center
Oakbrook Terrace Police Station
O’Hare Airport Transit System
O’Hare International Terminal 5
O’Hare Modernization Program
O’Hare South Airfield Fuel Line Relocation
One Lincoln Centre
Charter One Pavilion at Northerly Island
Peter Hand Brauhaus
Romeoville Aquatic Center and Splash Pad
Romeoville Athletic and Event Center
Runway 10C/28C Mass Grading South Basin and Pump Station
Runway 9L/27R Site Preparation
Sandwich Public Safety Complex
Saturn Agriculture
Sycamore Police Station
The Orbit Ice Rink
The Rookery Building
United Airlines Cargo Facility
West Adams Street Bridge
Will County “302” Offices and Security
Will County Adult Detention Facility
Will County Animal Control Center
Will County Emergency Management Agency
WM Vehicle Maintenance Facility
Woodridge Police Department and Public Works


  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.