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SALT LAKE CITY — The first major change to the state's largest airport has taken place.
Crews completed work Tuesday on the new entrance to the economy parking lot at Salt Lake City International Airport.
A portion of the economy parking lot and new entrance have shifted to the south to make way for the construction of new car rental facilities that are part of the airport terminal redevelopment program, explained Bianca Shreeve, public relations and marketing manager for the Salt Lake City Department of Airports.
While the new entrance remains on the left side of the airport entry road, it is now a bit farther — about 500 feet — from its previous location, Shreeve said. Drivers will need to turn left quicker than they did before, she noted.
The new entrance allows drivers access to 3,200 new parking stalls that opened a few months ago, Shreeve said. The newly built entrance "keeps passengers away from the ongoing construction to the north of the parking lot," she said.
"Customers will be able to flow in and out of this parking area much easier than they were before," Shreeve said.
The new entrance is thoroughly signed, said Dave Korzep, operations superintendent for the department.
"However, drivers should be aware of this change since they will need to exit and re-enter the airport if they miss the entrance," Korzep added.
The new section of the economy parking lot and a new entrance cost approximately $15 million. These are the enabling projects that will clear an area for construction of new car rental facilities as part of the $1.8 billion terminal redevelopment project, said airport spokeswoman Barbara Gann.
A three-story terminal and linear concourse will be under construction for the next eight to 10 years to replace the current Salt Lake City International Airport with a new facility that is designed for improved functionality and energy efficiency.
The long-term impact of the airport redevelopment plan will accommodate an estimated 1.5 percent annual growth in passenger travel and any future runway expansion projects.
Plans call for a new parking facility, a new terminal and half of the concourse to be completed by 2019. The project is scheduled for completion by summer 2022, following demolition of the existing terminals and parking garage.
A map of parking options at the airport can be found on their website.