City Council set to vote on airport improvements

Charlotte City Council is set to vote on several Charlotte Douglas International Airport improvement projects Monday, including construction of a new part of the entrance roadway that would tie the terminal directly to Interstate 85.

The three projects are all on the council’s consent agenda, which typically passes in a single vote.

The largest project is a new segment of the airport’s entrance road that would run between Little Rock Road and Scott Futrell Drive, creating a direct route from Interstate 85 to the terminal for the first time.

To build the road, the airport is buying 3.2 acres of wooded land from the N.C. Department of Transportation. The total cost of the project, including construction and the land purchase, is $3.3 million.

Charlotte Douglas opened the first phase of its new inbound entrance road last month, leading to some confusion as drivers adjust to the unfamiliar traffic pattern.

Airport officials are also seeking more than $400,000 to refurbish two escalators running from the lower level to the upper departure and ticketing areas. The escalators, from 1982, are under a heavier load because of new traffic patterns that have departing passengers on shuttle buses arriving at the lower level.

“This refurbishment will include upgrades to safety sensors and devices, new axles and rollers, drive chains, bearings, and belts, which will meet current North Carolina codes,” the airport said.

North of Wilkinson Boulevard, Charlotte Douglas has demolished the former Moore’s Park neighborhood, which it purchased from homeowners as noise increased over the years. The land there is now graded and ready for construction, and the airport is planning to build a remote rental car storage and maintenance facility there.

Construction on the new facility is scheduled to start in August and end in February 2015. The remote storage and maintenance will supplement the airport’s new hourly parking deck, the first three levels of which will house rental cars. The hourly deck is set to open in November, with the car rental agencies moving in by January 2015.

Monday, City Council is set to approve an annual contract for almost $900,000 with MVI Field Services to manage and maintain both rental car facilities.