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O’Hare lands $40 million from feds for Terminal 3 makeover

$200 million renovation to expand passenger areas, increase concessions, revamp security checkpoints

Travelers pick up their luggage from the arrivals level at O'Hare International Airport's Terminal 3. A recent $40 million federal grant will help pay for major renovations at the terminal including a revamped baggage area.

Chicago secured $40 million in federal aid to spruce up O’Hare International Airport’s Terminal 3 Thursday, just weeks before construction kicks off.

The $200 million renovation will expand passenger areas and walkways, increase concessions and revamp security checkpoints.

“O’Hare’s bustling Terminal 3 is a critical piece of Chicago infrastructure that will continue to play a key role in our national aviation system for decades to come,” Chicago Department of Aviation Commissioner Jamie Rhee said in a statement.

Renovations are expected to start this spring, the CDA said, and should wrap up by summer 2027. The project will be constructed in phases to allow for “continuous operations” at the terminal.

Specifics of the revamp include:

• Reconfiguring two U.S. Transportation Safety Administration checkpoints into one to allow for modernized, faster equipment.

• Tripling the width of the passenger corridor between concourses K and L.

• Adding 10,000 square feet of concessions and amenities.

• Increasing facilities for passengers with disabilities.

• Expanding the waiting area for passengers at Gates K1 and L2A.

• Updating baggage facilities and transport. Revamping the Terminal 3 baggage claim area.

• Renovating washrooms and adding family restrooms.

In 2023, O’Hare received a $50 million federal grant for Terminal 3. The remaining costs of the project will be covered by previously allocated federal funding and airline fees.

Terminal 3 opened in 1962.

The redo is part of O’Hare 21, the city’s ambitious plan that will demolish Terminal 2 and replace it with a Global Terminal serving international and domestic flights. O’Hare 21 also includes building two new concourses.