Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport Initiates Inbound Roadway Improvements
When the City of Atlanta leased 287 acres of land for an airfield in 1925, no one could have imagined that in 2013 nearly 95 million passengers would pass through what has now become the world's busiest airport, Hartsfield-Jackson International. Similarly, the inbound roadway system designers of the late 1970s could not have envisioned the doubling of automobile traffic that would clog airport entrance roadways some 30+ years later. These roadways were designed for a passenger volume that was half the size of the current volume. So to improve traffic flow and provide for the airport's continued growth, the Inbound Roadways Project was begun in 2013. This project will upgrade the airport's inbound terminal roadway network to provide safe and convenient travel for existing and for future traffic capacity. It will realign and widen most roadways, segregate the many current conflicting movements, improve weaving conditions, avoid queuing, blockage and delays, enhance signage all around the outside of the airport, and provide adequate connections, access and exits to/from various facilities.
This project proves to be a complex undertaking and is scheduled for completion in January 2015. This major upgrade includes the airport’s terminal roadway and extends south from Camp Creek Parkway to Riverdale Road at I-85. To meet these requirements, contractors are realigning Airport Boulevard and its connections with North and South Terminal Parkway and are moving the airport entrance along Riverdale Road to the existing intersection with Airport Boulevard.
Traffic is congested both inside as well as outside. Look at Concourse C. It currently lacks sufficient concessions and circulation space to accommodate the number of passengers utilizing that concourse. This part of the overall project will expand and renovate a total of approximately 52,000 square feet of space. This project alone will include two new escalators for passengers to connect from the Plane Train System up to the Concourse Level. It will also provide two new elevators. And the outside traffic will increase as a result of the new construction inside.
International Cargo has increased over the past several years and cargo forecasts show that there will an increase in the demand for cargo facilities and even more roadways in the near future as well and additional parking decks, as well as the relocation of airport access gates, again changing traffic flow of the original design.
New bridges are being built, old bridges are coming out, and multiple retaining walls, some topped by traffic barrier, are required, all to be built in a congested area that continues to handle thousands of vehicles entering the airport every day. Although on airport property and built entirely with airport funds, the project was designed and constructed in accordance with Georgia Department of Transportation (GADOT) specifications, means and methods.
As Atlanta's Front Door to the World, the new Maynard H. Jackson International Terminal Roadway System, is scheduled to be completed early in 2015, and the Inbound Roadway Improvements project when completed, will provide safer, faster and less congested access to Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport.