If you think it’s hectic dropping off or picking up passengers at Piedmont Triad International Airport (PTIA) on a busy air travel day right now, well, it’s going to be a lot more hectic later this year because PTIA is conducting a major renovation, repair and replacement project of the roadway and parking plaza in front of the arrival and departure gates.

PTIA Executive Director Kevin Baker said recently that the project, which will be undertaken later this year, will certainly create some headaches; but he added that it badly needs to be done.  He said potholes and other problems with the deck and road have added up over the years, and the “bridge deck,” as airport officials call it, has to be completely redone.

According to Baker, facilities workers currently do what they can to keep the area operational, but it’s evident that the entire structure must be renovated.  Baker said that, as it is now, work crews are constantly doing things like repairing potholes.

Baker added that there’s no question this will be a challenging process since the area is so central to the airport’s main passenger functions.

“It will be tricky from time to time,” he said, “but it’s wide enough that we think we’ll be able to manage by completing one half – then we can move traffic to the newly reconstructed side and do the other half.”

Baker said that, between the heavy rains in recent years and the cold winters, the bridge deck takes a constant pounding.

According to Baker, a lot of public attention goes toward major new projects at PTIA – like the coming 800-acre-plus aviation megasite – but the less glamorous parts of the airport, he said, might get overlooked by some.

“An airport is like a small city,” Baker said.  “People might see the big things but not notice something like infrastructure.”

PTIA officials will plan the renovation and replacement project and bid it out in the first half of 2019.  The work is expected to start in the second half of the year.