16:38 PM

All things construction: Five (maybe more) projects worth knowing about at TPA

Over the past few months, Tampa International Airport has used this relatively slow period to get ahead on numerous projects that will enhance the customer experience. And chances are, next time you visit the Airport, it will look slightly different.

Here’s a look at five – okay, six – projects that will improve your trip through Tampa International Airport.

Fresh new ticketing counters

TPA is in the process of modernizing the dated ticketing counters on the Transfer Level, including all back walls, ceilings, lights, monitors and carpets. The new spaces will be brighter and cleaner, with updated technology.

So far, six ticket counters are complete with another four to go. The entire project is expected to be complete by Fall 2020.

TPA gets in-demand amenities: Mother’s nursing rooms / Service animal relief areas

We’ve talked about these new amenities a lot – and for good reason. Mother’s nursing rooms and more convenient service animal relief areas are two of the most requested amenities (right up there with water bottle filling stations, which we’ve also recently added to each airside).

We’re currently installing mother’s nursing rooms in the Main Terminal, Airside A, Airside E and Airside F. We will also be adding one at Airside C at a later date.

All mother’s nursing rooms are expected to open in late July or early August.

Meanwhile, crews are working on service animal relief areas in the Main Terminal and all four airsides. All service animal areas except for Airside F are expected to open in early August.

TPA’s express curbsides speed along

TPA is adding 16 new curbside lanes for passengers with no checked luggage, including eight on the Blue side and eight on the Red side.

This project will ultimately help reduce congestion and make it easier for passengers to get to and from their gates.

Construction on the Blue side curbs is well underway, with an anticipated completion date in late 2021. Crews have finished all the demolition work, including an old rental car building, and have poured new foundations for the roadway foundation and a new building that will transport guests from the curbsides to the Transfer Level.

There’s a lot of other underground work happening, too: New elevator shaft foundations, storm drain infrastructure and other building foundations.

SkyCenter facilities moving quickly

Progress at the SkyCenter development site – located near the Rental Car Center – is flying along.

At the SkyCenter atrium, crews are busy working on interior finishes, landscaping and roadway work as the building approaches completion.

Next door, at the nine-story SkyCenter One office building, crews with contractor J.E. Dunn are rapidly placing structural steel beams. The outer glass walls are expected to get installed later this month with the entire building exterior – the building’s envelope, in construction terms – slated to wrap up this fall.

Wider is better: TPA expanding main entrance/exit roadways

To handle future passenger growth, we are expanding the inbound and outbound George J. Bean Parkway. This will eventually allow the Airport to serve upwards of 34 million passengers per year.

Work on this project has accelerated in recent months due to reduced traffic.

In addition to the extra lanes, we’re also adding a new Economy Parking Road exit, making it easier to leave the airport from the Economy Garage, Rental Car Center and SkyCenter development area.

Taxiway A bridge is A-OK

This is the only airfield project on the list – but it’s a biggie.

Crews are currently building a brand new Taxiway A bridge, which will add valuable new connectivity between the Airport’s east and west runways.

The bridge improves the overall safety of the airfield by reducing potential interactions between aircraft and other airfield traffic.

Like many of the other projects, it’s projected to potentially finish early due to reduced traffic (in this case, fewer planes).