In-Focus O'Hare Taxiway

August 21, 2013 -

United States Alliance Fire Protection (USAFP) recently completed a challenging tunnel project at Chicago O’Hare International Airport. The job conditions required that a freestanding tunnel structure be built ahead of an earthmoving contract to reroute a heavily trafficked taxiway.

Our portion consisted of two manual foam deluge systems, one each for eastbound and westbound lanes inside the tunnel. Having no permanent water supply, the systems were specifically engineered to meet the pumping capacity of the fire apparatus.

Federally-funded contracts require domestic material procurement, in this case "Buy American." This, along with the project-specific complication for stainless steel, required many components be manufactured to order.

Hanging anything from the precast roof structure was forbidden. Crossing the tunnel had to occur outside the tunnel in areas that will eventually be backfilled and buried deep underground. This unusual job condition required some ingenuity to complete.

In the end, the project came together on budget and on time, culminating in a spectacular discharge test filling the tunnel with water spray.

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