Airport Business

MAY 2017

The airport professional's source for airport industry news, articles, events, and careers.

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LANDSIDE May 2017 airportbusiness 7 Completion of the parking decks set the stage for the massive Elevated Roadway and Terminal Curbfront project now underway. Every penny of the nearly $50 million project is being paid with passen- ger facility charge pay-as-you-go funds approved by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). The city-owned and -operated airport is in a very strong and self-sufficient financial position, a fact Christine is proud of. "We currently charge a $3 PFC while many larger hubs charge the maximum: $4.50," Christine said. "That generates enough revenue for us to fund por- tions of our capital program that are PFC-eligible for our foreseeable future." And, for CLT that future holds more growth. The Airport is forecasted to serve 9 million annual originating passengers by 2027, 3 million more than it does now. BRINGING ORDER TO CLT'S FRONT DOOR One of CLT's main landside pain points is the high- ly-congested area in front of the terminal building. "Long traffic queues for loading and unloading at the curb have been a constant challenge for us over the past several years," Christine said. "The Elevated Roadway and Terminal Curbfront Project will relieve congestion by increasing roadway and curbside capacity, and it will create space for the terminal ticket lobby expansion by physically mov- ing the curbfront 80 feet away from the terminal." The airport is replacing the existing upper three- lane terminal roadway with parallel roadways, for a total of eight lanes for departures. It also is replacing the existing five-lane, ground-level terminal road- way with another eight lanes in two roadways for arrivals, bringing the grand total to 16 new lanes. Commercial vehicles will be moved to the three-lane roadways closest to the terminal and private vehicles to the outer lanes, resulting in less pedestrian traffic crossing the travel lanes. "The Elevated Roadway and Terminal Curbfront project allows us to separate commercial and private vehicles on the upper level, which we've never been able to do, and bring some order to the front door of the terminal," Christine said. Additional features of the bi-level roadway include: • Curbside valet drop-off and pickup lanes • Raised crosswalks to increase pedestrian vis- ibility and safety • The structural portion of two future pedestrian tunnels, connecting the parking deck to the terminal under the arrivals roadway • Provisions for future pedestrian bridges from the parking deck to the terminal CLT retained HNTB to design and manage con- struction of the Elevated Roadway and Terminal Curbfront Project in the heart of the airport while maintaining 24/7 roadway access to the terminal. "The fact that we were involved in all phases gave the project a continuity of understanding from planning through design and construction," Lebegern said. In delivering the complex landside project, HNTB was committed to helping the airport achieve its No. 1 goal. "We are looking out for the customer's best interests," said Tom Rossbach, HNTB director of aviation architecture and vice president. "Our job is to ensure passengers continue to enjoy the highest level of service possible." NOT YOUR TYPICAL ELEVATED ROADWAY Described as a combination roadway-bridge-build- ing-tunnel project, the effort summoned nearly every in-house discipline HNTB offers. "The only thing missing is rail," joked Greg Boulanger, PE, HNTB project manager and asso- ciate vice president, Carolinas District. The elevated roadway required a building per- mit because it would provide shelter for pedes- trians and connect two buildings: the terminal and the parking deck. But, the elevated roadway also was, in all respects, a bridge. And, for Paul Barber, PE, HNTB senior bridge engineer, it was one of the most complex in his 35-year career – not from a technical perspective so much as from a geometric standpoint. "The framing system for the bridge is completely different from a normal highway bridge, yet we were designing it for complete highway truck loadings," Barber said. "We placed extremely low-depth, long beams – some 70 feet – perpendicular to traffic when ordinarily, in a highway bridge, the beams are parallel to traffic. We used an inverted T-type substructure along with ledge beams, neither had been used before on a highway bridge, under high- way loading, in North Carolina." The type of precast beam wasn't common in North Carolina, but the 14-foot vertical clearance HNTB had to maintain underneath the elevated structure forced engineers to use a shallow beam for the span length. "It's not your typical rectangular bridge," said HNTB's Nick Schiavone, resident engineer and construction manager. To fit the structure into its surroundings, HNTB designed beams that fan out, allowing the elevat- ed roadway to curve toward the terminal building on its approach and curve away from the terminal building on departure. The project also benefited from the precast beam, an option that wasn't on the table at the beginning, according to Barber. "The airport didn't want to use steel for sup- porting members, and it initially was against using precast members because of challenges on previous projects," Barber said. HNTB recommended the Airport use precast beams for the system and a cast-in-place deck with removable forms instead of steel forms left in place. "Using precast beams helped with cost, staging and significantly sped up construction," Barber said. The bridge's caissons had to be driven deep into the ground to support not only the elevated CLT MOVES FORWARD ON LOBBY EXPANSION MOVING the curbfront away from CLT's terminal building will create 225,000 square feet of space for the lobby expansion. Design already is under contract and the airport is working through the renovation of all the pre-security space. Most ticketing functions will move to a kiosk-style format in a more expansive area. There will be more concession opportunities, and Queen Charlotte, a popular local sculpture, will find her permanent home as a centerpiece of the lobby expansion. The lobby expansion will install a canopy, stretching over the elevated roadway from the parking deck to the terminal as well as skywalks linking both buildings.

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