Portland International Airport isn’t taking it one project at a time, as the main airport in Portland, Oregon, has four projects all going at once.
Skanska won’t check baggage for its trip to PDX, as the construction firm plans to stick around a couple of years working on a $215 million expansion and upgrade project. Recently kicked off and running into the middle of 2020, the bulk of the project includes an upgrade to Concourse E, originally opened in 1956, but other work in the area also features airside sitework, modifications to baggage handling systems and renovations within the existing terminal, all with the goal of increasing efficiency of operations, prolonging the longevity of the terminal facilities and enhancing service for passengers.
The Concourse E project adds 150,000 square feet of space in an 830-ft-long two-story expansion. The work adds length onto the end of the already existing concourse, so doesn’t impact ongoing airport operations. The resulting work will add six additional gates and allow PDX to reshuffle airline gate usage to better divvy up passenger traffic throughout the airport.
The Port of Portland says the Concourse E expansion, designed by Hennerbery Eddy Architects of Portland, will balance the number of passengers using the north and south sides of the airport. Currently the two largest air carriers at PDX—Alaska and Southwest—are both located on the south side of the building, so two-thirds of all passengers use that side of the terminal, including security checkpoints and amenities. The expansion will allow Southwest to move to the north side of PDX.
Along with the major concourse project, work should wrap in February on a Quick Turn Around project that will improve efficiency and volume for the rental car processing center, a $67 million project funded by revenues derived from rental car facility charges.
A new public parking and rental car garage, a $268 million project funded by 30-year revenue bonds repaid from revenues tied to airport transportation fees, is ongoing now, expected to finish in 2021. This project creates more parking space for rental cars and passengers, all adjacent to the terminal. Currently 80 percent of rental car operations are on-airport. The new facility will allow for 100 percent of rental car operations on-airport.
The final project ongoing at PDX, this led by Zimmer Gunsul Frasca Architects of Portland, ARUP of San Francisco and Turner Construction of Portland, includes a “comprehensive terminal core redevelopment.” The existing ticket lobby, Clocktower Plaza, security checkpoints and baggage claim area will all get modernized to ensure sufficient capacity for passenger demand while replacing aging systems and infrastructure.
Planning has already started on this project and finished work is expected to wrap up in 2023.
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