We got a good update on what the first CIP of the new master plan will be on SSP from poster Mikey.
- braided intersection of SH 71 / Presidential Blvd is currently in design
- 4-gate western extension + in-fill project in the works to enable the loss of at least that many gates for future midfield concourse, which leads me to...
- tunnel now planned to connect BJT (near Gate 19 or so) to midfield concourse, i.e. no bridge as shown in previous renderings
- targeting 2025-2026 opening of 20 gate concourse; planned apron & taxiways to accommodate potential third parallel concourse beyond 2040
- improvements to existing BJT headhouse to accommodate ticketing/check-in/baggage services for capacity before tearing down current close-in garage for eventually expanded facility
- expanded BJT will be constructed as tangent to newly aligned two-level roadway for future growth to avoid need for new southern terminal through the 2040 planning period
- Taxiway D design & construction within next decade for operational improvements to 17R/35L, i.e. high-speed exits
4-Gate Western Expansion + security area infill:
BJT Expansion with newly aligned (curved) roadway:
Some of my takeaways about changes from the initial master plan:
-I'm betting the new ABIA boss made the call to go with the tunnel instead of bridge to connect BJ and the new concourse but hopefully she listens to the concerns of the staff that has had problems digging on the property in the past
-it'll be nice the south terminal has its own taxiway to both runways while heavy construction is going on in the center.
-It makes sense to start with the west half of the new center concourse since there is more room on the west side due to the new deicing facility on the east side
-Looks like the new road connection will just be 2 levels instead of having a 3rd for pedestrian crossing and instead there will be a massive arc bridge for pedestrian crossings
-I'm sure it'll be nice for the planes in the back of the east terminal extension to have the new corner connection (new Golf1 I'm Guessing) to the east runway taxiway.
-Interesting that the new terminal processing building will be more integrated to the BJ terminal. I wonder what the construction plan is. I wouldn't be surprised if the 1st phase of the processing building is more separate and the integration project comes after it opens.
Some thoughts on Mikey's schedule notes:
-It helps solve the question of, "how the hell can they aford all this?" It'll be interesting to see how they design the west infill. I'm betting it is more rectangular to fill the space to make more room for check in without taking away space for security.
-I wonder if they can manage to get the new west taxiway Foxtrot ready to build at the same time they close the west runway for maintenance/upgrades and renumbering. Seems like it would be hard to build the taxiway next to an active runway. I assume all the quick exits in the new taxiway increases the amount of operations the runways can handle per hour?
-Would it be crazy to cut and cap the tunnel? You would have to probably get the scheduling right so you finish the south half of the cap with the new apron so you could cut and cap the north half.
Reminder about TxDOT work drastically changing how cars get to airport:
-The new entrance system for the port is going to be really great. Now all airport traffic on WB 71 will exit before 183, take a bridge over 183, and take a new bridge over Spirt of Texas to get to the new braided Presidential Blvd which will eliminate the traffic light for everyone. The new 183 SB to 71 EB direct ramp will have an exit built onto it for airport traffic as well to the new EB frontage roads and a new ramp from 183 NB to the new frontage as well as a ramp to the WB mainlanes. Basically, it get airport bound cars off the highway before 183 traffic joins the 71 mainlanes. Just smart highway design.