North Carolina’s Raleigh-Durham International Airport has selected a Balfour Beatty-Metcon joint venture, along with Right Build and Varnedoe Construction, for an estimated $650-million phased construction program set to increase capacity for the facility growing passenger volumes and future Research Triangle aviation demand.

The joint venture will work as construction manager-at-risk for the project, part of the airport’s Vision 2040 Master Plan, a long-range roadmap focused on the airfield, terminals, ground transportation and general aviation.

Balfour Beatty and Metcon also will deliver improvements to the Aviation Parkway and National Guard Drive interchange and Terminal 2 Landside Expansion program “over the course of multiple years," according to an announcement on March 27.

The team will also construct the Park Economy 3 expansion, to begin in the fall with completion in 2025. It includes expanding the existing parking area and adding 8,000 parking spaces, according to the release.

The Aviation Parkway and National Guard Drive interchange, located to the south of the airport near Interstate 40, will be improved for safety and to accommodate increased traffic volumes from the expansion of Park Economy 3 and development along National Guard Drive. 

The interchange will feature new roadway infrastructure connecting the newly expanded parking lot to Aviation Parkway and a new bridge overpass to allow airport shuttle bus traffic to have an almost continuous, free-flow movement to and from the terminal area to Park Economy 3. Work is anticipated to start in 2025.

The Terminal 2 Landside Expansion program includes three sub-phases—expansion of Terminal 2, demolition and reconstruction of Parking Garages 1 and 2, and extension of John Brantley Boulevard, all to meet long-term Terminal 2 passenger demand.

According to the airport, a total of 11.8 million passengers in 2022 marked a 35% increase over its 2021 numbers, although still 17% below the record 14.2 million passengers in 2019. 

More than 1.1. million people flew through the facility in March, 23% more than in March 2022, according to the airport website.

The expansion of Terminal 2, also scheduled to start in early 2025, includes enlarging the terminal processor building and modifying the Federal Inspections Station and Customs and Border Patrol areas of the building. Parking Garage 1 and 2 demolition and reconstruction include replacing garage decks with new five- to seven-story decks, as well as new pedestrian bridge and tunnel connections to Terminal 2.

The John Brantley Boulevard extension will realign the main road loop between Terminals 1 and 2 to create space for a future consolidated rental car facility.

With the new construction program, Balfour Beatty will continue a "more than 10-year relationship" with Raleigh-Durham Airport Authority,” said Trent Johnson, company operations director in Raleigh.

The airport's 25-year Vision 2040 plan, approved by the Federal Aviation Administration in 2017, includes runway and taxiway replacement, rehabilitation and construction, as well as terminal and security checkpoint expansion.