Construction on O'Hare runways might affect noise rotation test
Residents following the Chicago Department of Aviation's runway rotation experiment should watch for possible schedule changes in the coming weeks related to construction.
Workers will replace concrete and asphalt pavement on one of the airport's more heavily used runways, 10-Left/28-Right, starting in late August. The project means nightly runway closures possibly extending into December, although it's hoped repairs could end before the holiday season, planners said at an O'Hare Noise Compatibility Commission committee meeting Tuesday.
The improvements will run up against an ongoing six-month overnight runway rotation test aimed at more evenly distributing jet noise over different communities.
The city is also adding lighting to increase pilot awareness on adjacent Runway 10-Center/28-Center, but that project should be finished late this month.
The runway rotation is an elaborate plan that varies east and west directions, diagonal and parallel runways, and the south and north airfields.
"For the most part we tried to build the rotation around the construction that was known," CDA Assistant Commissioner Aaron Frame said.
The city has flagged dates including the weeks of Sept. 11, Sept. 25 and Nov. 6 when construction might affect the schedule.
Residents are advised to check the department's website www.airportprojects.net/flyquiettest for updates.
From 11 p.m. to about 5:30 a.m., different combinations of runways will be used each week for a six-month period. The rotation schedule lasts 12 weeks.
Supporters hope it will provide some relief to people who've complained they get no sleep, especially those in towns such as Wood Dale, Bensenville and Itasca, or Chicago neighborhoods near O'Hare.
But there are concerns in communities like Des Plaines that received less noise after Chicago shifted to the parallel runway system, where some residents fear they'll hear a renewed racket overnight.
The rotation began July 6.