Work on parking garage for O’Hare international terminal will cause traffic delays, city warns

Travelers are urged to allow for extra time if parking at Lot D, next to the international terminal. Other options include Economy Lot F, which connects to the terminal via the Airport Transit System, also known as the people mover.

SHARE Work on parking garage for O’Hare international terminal will cause traffic delays, city warns
A rendering of the new parking garage being built at O’Hare Airport’s international terminal.

A rendering of the new parking garage being built at O’Hare Airport’s international terminal.

Chicago Department of Aviation

The Chicago Department of Aviation is warning travelers of traffic congestion and delays near O’Hare Airport as work on a new, six-story parking garage next to the international terminal ramps up on Tuesday.

City officials are advising travelers and visitors there will be limited parking availability in Lot D, next to the international terminal, also known as Terminal 5. Also, the existing pedestrian bridge connecting Lot D to Terminal 5 will close Tuesday and a temporary walkway will be put in place.

Travelers are urged allow for extra time for parking in Lot D, or consider other options. Economy Lot F, north of the terminal in the Multi-Modal Facility, is just minutes from Terminal 5 on the Airport Transit System, commonly called the people mover.

Travelers can also use the Kiss ‘n’ Fly at the Multi-Modal Facility to drop off departing passengers, or use the cell phone lot to wait for arriving passengers.

Or, avoid driving to the airport entirely and opt for public transit, such as the CTA, or use a taxi or a ride-hailing service, such as Lyft or Uber.

The aviation department also suggests traffic patterns on airport roadways may change to accommodate construction. This includes concrete work and improvements to sidewalks, pedestrian walkways and handrails.

The upcoming holiday travel period could cause even more congestion and traffic delays as work increases, according to an aviation department news release. It is recommended for travelers to allow extra time to get to the airport.

CDA didn’t respond to questions about the project, such as why construction work is intensifying just weeks from the busy holiday travel season.

When complete, the six-story parking garage will have double the capacity of Lot D, which had about 900 parking spots. Terminal 5 is in the midst of a massive expansion.

Other Terminal 5 parking/traffic improvement include new lane markings, an expanded curbside area and electric vehicle charging stations.

It’s all part of a $1 billion modernization of the terminal, which also handles some domestic flights. The parking garage is expected to be completed in 2024.

A rendering of the expanded international terminal at O’Hare Airport.

A rendering of the expanded international terminal at O’Hare Airport. The new gates are in the foreground; the existing terminal is at left in the background.

Chicago Department of Aviation

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