The other day, during an annual all-employee meeting, a coworker asked a question of our facilities department about the pace and progress of Terminal 1. The answer surprised me. The interior of Terminal 1 is more than 70 percent complete in terms of work the contractor is responsible for before turning it over to the Airport Authority for final preparations.
That’s a lot of work since last July, when we ceremonially tore the blue panels off the building to mark the beginning of major construction. Since then, crews reduced the interior to literally a steel frame with concrete floors. They also added an expansion of the security checkpoint and an addition to the bag make up area, where luggage is sorted and prepared for flight.
The pace of construction has been staggering. On some projects, work sometimes seems to crawl along as wiring, conduit and utility work takes place. Not so on this project. While I haven’t been able to go and take photographs each week as originally planned, each time I go I can see dramatic changes even in what I call the “pipes and ductwork stage.”
In recent weeks, the building is looking less and less like a work zone and more like a terminal. You’re now clearly able to see where final elements will be. The new exit corridor is taking shape rapidly as are the gate waiting room areas. The work on the restrooms is progressing quickly as well. There are cool canopies being fitted over the ticket counters. Just last week I saw the first sections of floor-to-ceiling glass being installed on the runway-side of the terminal.
Frequent visitors to the airport are sure to see some of the work going on outside the building. A giant canopy system is nearing completion off the front of the building. And, new translucent material is going up that will comprise the exterior and will allow indirect sunlight to flood the ticketing, bag claim and security checkpoint spaces.
While the project is ahead of schedule, there is still much work to be done. Connecting the building to power, finishing restrooms and waiting rooms, installing the technology infrastructure and laying flooring throughout the building will all take place in the next year. And that’s not to mention the shops and restaurants, which are now being designed and planned ahead of construction, which will begin toward the end of 2013.
And one final piece hasn’t started yet. A separate, yet related project will see a complete replacement of the ramp, or aircraft parking area, outside the terminal. All of the concrete will be replaced outside the building, which will bring the area into compliance with modern standards. Work is expected to begin this summer on that project.
We look forward to reopening Terminal 1 in Spring of 2014. In the meantime, check out our latest construction photos on our Facebook page.