18:26 PM

TPA expansion project reaches one year milestone

(Nov. 19, 2015) One year ago this week, elected officials, community members and the Tampa International Airport team gathered together to break ground on the largest expansion in airport history.

The progress has been remarkable. 

In the past year, two outdoor terraces have sprung up from an unused gravel deck on the east side of the Main Terminal. Old rental car service buildings have been demolished and new ones built. The automated people mover guideway is starting to take shape, as is the new Taxiway J Bridge. New concessions spaces are underway. Land has been cleared, thousands of support shafts drilled and miles of utilities have relocated. The list goes on.

To mark the one-year anniversary of the groundbreaking, the Airport has put together a behind-the-scenes video documenting the ongoing construction and progress.

Led by Airport CEO Joe Lopano, the video begins on the site of the 2.6-million square-foot consolidated rental car center. Construction crews – led by Austin Commercial – have transformed the space, demolishing buildings and clearing the land for this new state-of-the-art facility. The building is already starting to come together. Dozens of new concrete support columns have been poured and are now popping out of the ground.

Lopano then takes viewers to the Main Terminal, where Skanska Building USA is in charge of construction. The east side decks have seen some of the most impressive changes as they morph into outdoor terraces. The two terraces will soon be home to the Airport’s first outdoor dining, featuring a P.F. Chang’s and a Hard Rock Café.

From there, Lopano travels back outside to a section of the Airport’s new 1.4-mile automated people mover. Construction crews so far have made the first two concrete pours on the people-mover’s guideway slab. The people-mover will eventually connect the Main Terminal, Economy Parking and Consolidated Rental Car Center. All told, the trip will take a little over four minutes.

All this progress has taken a huge effort. And a huge workforce.

To date, more than 3,200 different workers have logged more than a half a million hours. That number will only grow – and grow faster as construction continues to ramp up.

“We are tremendously proud of the progress that has been made in our first year of construction and look forward to even more success as the program continues,” said Jeff Siddle, Assistant Vice President of Planning and Development. “We are grateful for the hard work from all of our employees and stakeholders to make this transformation go smoothly as possible.”