Airport construction finishes for winter
In anticipation of Thanksgiving travelers and the single largest travel day of the year, Salt Lake City International Airport rushed to get construction projects completed.
The airport reopened all roadway lanes, relocated the ‘park and wait’ lot and increased the number of available parking spots. Inside the building, the airport added an additional security checkpoint lane and replaced and moved baggage claim machines closer together to expand the ‘meet and greet’ area.
Tim Campbell, executive director of the Salt Lake City Department of Airports, said the Salt Lake City International Airport construction projects are part of a four-year plan, with additional work resuming in the spring.
"This is one of those construction projects where you have to maintain your operation during construction so it takes longer," Campbell said. Salt Lake City International Airport widened the inbound and outbound roadway lanes and replaced outdoor signs this season. Campbell said a relocation project for the ‘park and wait’ lot was completed this week. The ‘park and wait’ lot, an area where vehicles can sit in front of a sign that alerts them when flights arrive, reopened on Monday off an inbound roadway. The airport added the flight arrival sign to the ‘park and wait’ area on Tuesday. Campbell said the lot was relocated so vehicles no longer have to drive through the terminals and loop around to reach it. "Our group and construction crews were working fast and furious to get things done for the Thanksgiving holiday," Campbell said. During the summer and fall, up to 1,500 airport parking spots were blocked off for construction. Campbell said the airport reopened these parking areas for the Thanksgiving holiday to provide 10,500 available parking spots. Inside the airport, additions include a new concession stand in Terminal 1, the Delta Airlines terminal. Campbell said the concession stand will open this week with snack items, sandwiches, hot dogs, soft drinks and a latte bar. He said a similar concession stand will open in Terminal 2 in mid-December. "It’s a little bit like a convenience store you might see around town," he said. The Salt Lake International Airport is two years into its four-year construction and reorganization program. Other projects to simplify airport access and functionality will begin in the spring. Campbell said the two surface parking lots, or economy lots, will be connected into one lot and a bridge for shuttle buses from that lot will tie into the new roadway system. There will also be additional landscaping done around the airport next spring, he said. This year, there will also be an administrative change within the airport. Campbell, executive director for the past five years, said he accepted a position as the organization secretary of transportation for the state of Maryland. He will be responsible for the Baltimore/Washington Thurgood Marshall International Airport and a general aviation airport in Maryland beginning Dec. 5. Campbell said Russ Pack, the Salt Lake International Airport’s director of commercial services and administration, will serve as an interim executive director while a candidate search is conducted.
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Thanks to COVID-19 cutting into visitation numbers, Park City’s seasonal workforce is sufficient. In any other winter, “the hiring situation would be dire.”