Automated People Movers (APMs) and Automated Transit Systems (ATSs) have moved passengers within cities, theme parks, and major airports for more than 50 years. Yet with any great transportation system, challenges manifest as more people than ever rely on them – especially at destinations like O’Hare International Airport (ORD) in Chicago where 1 million passengers ride the people mover each month and infrastructure is need of improvement.

Joseph Dote, Senior Vice President at R.M. Chin & Associates, Inc. (R.M. Chin) and General Manager of Facilities and Construction for the O’Hare Airport Transit System (OATS), recently recounted his experience managing the 2014 I-190 ATS Bridge Pier Relocation project at ORD during the 15th International Conference on APMs and ATSs in Toronto, Canada. The 4-day conference hosted by the Transportation and Development Institute of the American Society of Civil Engineers examined the evolution of these systems, including how they respond to technological advancements, roadway and infrastructure improvements, and passenger growth.

OATS is a fully automated landside people mover which transports passengers between Terminals 1, 2, 3, International Terminal 5, and Long-term Parking Lot “E” under a 24/7, 365-day-a-year operation schedule. Over 20 years ago, Mr. Dote led the construction of the original system. This institutional knowledge was particularly useful when a major local roadway project in 2014 impacted system operations. One of the main transit bridges serving the terminals and long-term parking had to be demolished and relocated during the accelerated 5-month roadway project.

OATS final
“Through careful planning and coordination with the Chicago Department of Aviation (CDA) and the Airlines, passengers were able to get to their destinations through bus service while we made necessary updates to the system. Because we had to take the bridge out of service, remove all traction power, AC guideway heating, shut down communication, remove 2 piers, and move the abutment; having an experienced and knowledgeable team of engineers, contractors, and O&M technicians was critical for putting together the advanced migration plan and getting normal service back on by November before the holiday season,” explained Mr. Dote.

Throughout his career, Mr. Dote has managed conceptual, planning, design oversight, and construction of programmed capital projects totaling more than $12 billion in construction. He also serves as the liaison between the CDA and the Airlines on issues relating to capital projects.

R.M. Chin is proud to have had Mr. Dote represent our firm at this prestigious annual conference.

Read more about R.M. Chin’s aviation services on our Sectors page.