Soil Reuse


Earthwork Management Plan (EMP)

Through the O’Hare Modernization Program (OMP), the CDA has handled more than 20 million cubic yards of soil – enough to fill the interior of the Willis Tower more than nine times!

To reduce hauling, labor, and fuel costs, and to reduce emissions and traffic congestion, the City of Chicago desired to keep as much excavated soil on-site as possible. To aid in this endeavor, the CDA initiated an Earthwork Management Plan (EMP).

Earthwork Management Committee

Additionally, an Earthwork Management Committee was established to make every effort to effectively match available soil material resources with project earthwork's needs. The committee has the responsibility of updating the EMP and coordinating future changes resulting from decisions made during the design and construction phases. The goal of the Earthwork Management Committee is to update and maintain a current EMP that allows OMP leadership to make timely and informed decisions regarding earthwork relocation costs, phasing, quality, and quantities for both individual projects and the OMP as a whole.


The CDA's Earthwork Management Plan has kept soil on-site and out of landfills, helping the CDA achieve the triple bottom line by being economically viable, socially responsible and environmentally sound. Soil has been reused as part of new projects or stockpiled for future use, saving over $150 million. By keeping soil on-site, the CDA has also saved more than 630,000 truck trips and more than 73,000 tons of carbon dioxide.