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Airport has big plans to be more accessible

Charlotte/Douglas International Airport will soon undergo a dramatic transformation.

Among the projects scheduled for the next five years:


A new international concourse.


Two new hourly parking decks.


An expanded ticketing area.


A fourth runway that's under construction.


A reworking of the access roads to the airport's ticketing area.

The N.C. DOT has long discussed creating an expressway into the airport directly from Interstate 85, but that's unfunded and probably won't be built for at least 10 years.

So aviation director Jerry Orr plans to do some of the road work himself.

When Orr is finished, motorists leaving the airport will have a straight path to Wilkinson Boulevard instead of having to take Josh Birmingham Parkway to the east.

Driving into the airport on Little Rock Road will lead directly into the terminal area.

Orr is counting on the state to build two bridges over Wilkinson Boulevard, giving motorists a straight shot to I-85. “It's only reasonable that they do a little,” he said.

Orr has about $10 million to start work. He'll try to finish the road in five years, when more money comes available.

Steve Harrison
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