Pond has been hard at work for the O’Hare Fuel Committee (OFC) on the design and installation of new fuel transmission mains at Chicago O’Hare International Airport. The O’Hare Fuel System Improvement Program (FSIP) is part of the O’Hare Modernization Program (OMP), an airport-wide master plan intended to improve airport facilities and amenities.

Along with the OMP’s overall modernization efforts at the airport, which will involve the construction of several new runways, taxiways, roads, and related infrastructure, the FSIP will relocate and modernize existing fuel systems impacted by the OMP’s upgrades at the airport.

Pond has spent more than 18 months working side-by-side with the OFC, their program manager, J.A. Watts, Inc., and other project stakeholders designing and providing construction administration services for the new fuel transmission mains that will used to transfer Jet-A fuel from the OFC’s fuel farm to the airport’s domestic, international and cargo terminals.

Under the leadership of Pond’s Project Manager Craig Clum, the Pond team has successfully worked directly with the OFC on the new transmission mains project. The overall length of the new transmission mains exceeded 11,000 feet in length. The design integrated different piping configurations that consisted of either two or three 24-inch carbon steel fuel pipes running parallel to each other in a common trench.

One of the project’s most significant obstacles was to route the new fuel mains under Runway 15-33 and Taxiway T. This challenge was overcome by employing horizontal directional drilling (HDD) technologies to install two parallel 24-inch mains under these active airfield pavements with no impacts to air or ground traffic. Each drill was approximately 1,800 feet in length with a pipe length of approximately 1,400 feet that was pulled back into each bore. This project’s HDDs are some of the longest ever performed on a U.S. airport.

“This has been a unique opportunity for Pond based on the size and scope of the project,” said Clum. “We’ve developed many great working relationships with the project stakeholders and the overall O’Hare community.”

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