After a nearly year-long delay brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, Pittsburgh International Airport’s $1.1-billion terminal modernization program could restart construction activities by the end of March. The airport authority postponed site work that was scheduled to begin in April 2020, allowing the team time to re-evaluate its plans and put a greater emphasis on public health considerations.

During the pause, the team has been able to “focus on long-term changes to promote a healthy, safe passenger experience,” says Bill Peduzzi, aviation director at HDR, which is part of the program’s design team along with Gensler and luis vidal + architects.

"This project has been a great example of the importance of collaboration, as we looked outside traditional airport design to also tap the expertise of our HDR colleagues in health care and biocontainment design,” Peduzzi says.

Design and construction documents for the new terminal are ready for bid, and documents for a new parking garage and rental car facility could be ready by the end of the month, according to the airport. Bid packages for the new terminal could be ready to go out in March, starting with structural steel, followed by foundations and underground utilities. Those packages represent an estimated $182 million combined.

The airport is aiming to start major construction activities in June 2021. Construction would be completed by the end of 2024 with the new terminals official opening in early 2025. PJ Dick/Hunt and Turner Construction serve as construction managers.

“We’re going to release the first terminal bid package in March, and we’re planning a groundbreaking this year,” Paul Hoback, PIT’s chief development officer, told the airport’s Blue Sky News. “We’ve had amazing partnership from the airlines, and they are stamping their vote of confidence in us through an approval process that will allow us to move the project forward.”

The airport’s terminal modernization program, which was first announced in 2017, aims to consolidate airport and airline operations into an approximately 700,000-sq-ft-terminal facility, as well as all passenger and public spaces, such as ticketing, baggage claim, a meet-and-greet area, security checkpoint and retail and concession spaces. New infrastructure will include a roadway the serves the terminal as well as a multi-level parking garage and ground transportation center.

"Developing a passenger experience that promotes wellness will be key for airports as the world continues to grapple with concerns about health,” Peduzzi added.