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Crews Install Skywalk Connecting Parking Ramp to Duluth Airport

Updated: 07/02/2014 7:50 PM
Created: 07/02/2014 4:18 PM WDIO.com
By: Maarja Anderson

The new terminal at the Duluth International Airport opened last year, but construction has been ongoing. Wednesday, crews installed one of the project's final pieces: the skywalk.

It was a tough winter for construction, but Kraus-Anderson said the new multi-level parking ramp and skywalk are still slated to be finished this October.

The extra machinery at the airport Wednesday had passengers waiting outside, but the disruption was just for the day.

"The airport doesn't stop even though we are shutting down the front of their terminal," explained Kraus-Anderson project manager, Andy Towner.

Two massive cranes took over the lanes for departures and arrivals while they installed the 120-foot steel skeleton of the skywalk. The structure came in two 60-foot pieces.

"They picked both pieces up in the air, anchored them on either end, and then slowly floated them together and made the connection in the middle," said Towner.

It's a big job, taking a lot of logistical planning, but for marketing director Natalie Peterson and the rest of the Duluth Airport crew, it means there is light at the end of this construction tunnel.

"Once this is at completion, which should be in October, we are done with our construction phase," said Peterson.

Towner said they are still finishing up on the parking ramp, and as for the skywalk they'll continue work through the summer, closing one lane at a time to get work done.

"The sides will be all glass and then there will be a roof on top," said Towner.

Right now, the skywalk is about 14 feet short of the terminal, but Towner said once the construction crews have everything in place they will extend the skywalk, cut through the glass on the second floor of the terminal, add sliding doors, and officially connect the ramp to the terminal.

Peterson said it's what Northland passengers have wanted for years.

"To have the convenience for our passengers to be able to park within the parking garage, walk across the skywalk, and walk right into TSA if they have their boarding pass and don't have to check a bag, I mean does it get any easier than that?" asked Peterson.

The ramp and skywalk will be open to use in October.

Towner said this final phase of construction will cost $8 million.

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