NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Work on a new terminal at the Louis Armstrong International Airport will begin in early January. The $807 million project is being hailed as the most important construction job for the city since the Louisiana Superdome in 1975.
On Monday, the New Orleans Aviation Board approved final construction costs.
The Times-Picayune/Nola.com reports (http://bit.ly/1mfAXbj ) that Mayor Mitch Landrieu then signed a $598 million contract with construction manager Hunt-Gibbs-Boh-Metro.
The total cost amounts to $807 million when design and engineering, a new airport access road, a storm water pump station and other costs are included.
The project is being funded primarily with general airport revenue bonds, which are ultimately paid for by the airlines operating at Armstrong, along with federal and state grants and capital funds.
Under the construction contract, opening day for the new terminal is set for Oct. 1, 2018.
The new terminal is part of a push to modernize and spruce up the city in advance of the tricentennial celebrations in 2018.
"This airport has been in the mind's eye of the public for about 40 years," Landrieu said. "There have been innumerable mayors' administrations, governors, that have tried to find the time, the space or the money to build a world-class airport that the people of New Orleans deserve."
The 760,500-square-foot terminal will have 30 gates and a 2,000-car parking garage, a central utility plant, and a ground transportation staging area. The terminal in use today dates to 1959.
Unlike now, nearly all of the stores and restaurants in the new terminal will be located behind security, where passengers spend most of their time and money.
This year, the airport expects to reach an all-time high of more than 10 million passengers.
Information from: The Times-Picayune, http://www.nola.com