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More than $60 million of overdue improvements have turned Cleveland Hopkins International Airport into a bustling construction zone.
Members of Cleveland City Council recently got a positive report about the progress on $60 million worth of construction at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport.
The construction is on time and on budget, according to Renato Comacho, the airport’s chief of planning and engineering. Most of the work that will affect passengers moving in and out is still scheduled to be completed by May 2016, before the Republican presidential nominating convention in July.
Councilman Martin Keane, chairman of the Transportation Committee, set up the meeting at the airport so that council members could get a progress report on the construction going on at the airport terminal and surrounding parking lots. But council members also wanted answers to the calls they get from constituents who complain about delays getting through the terminal and even missing flights.
Camacho updated council on the status of the construction. The work began in May on a $24 million sprucing up of the terminal’s exterior façade and the ticketing lobby. The construction also includes canopies with solar panels over the Red and Blue parking lots, a new baggage screening system and new signage.
Key elements of the exterior facelift are extending the canopy further over the roadway, installing a new aluminum skin for structural elements that will allow more natural light down to the baggage claim area, and replacing sliding doors with more energy-efficient revolving doors.
The passenger drop-off area is getting first-ever upgrades including a protective overhang.
The ticketing area is getting new wallcoverings and lighting, new aluminum cladding on columns and ceiling beams, and better signage and lighting.
The new baggage system, out of sight of the traveling public, will make it easier for the airlines and Transportation Security Administration to screen and move checked baggage onto airplanes. This project will not be completed until June 2017. TSA, which will be adding more staff, will pay 90% of the $26.8 million cost of the new system.
“There are a lot of big, exciting projects here at Hopkins,” Keane said after council toured the construction areas. “We’re going to try to adapt to the changing (airline) industry and proved the traveling public with the best possible experience we can.”