South Bend – It’s hard for travelers not to notice the construction taking place inside and out at South Bend International Airport (SBN). Two major construction projects recently began.
As travelers enter the front drive at the airport, they will notice construction crews working on the southwest corner. Phase one of the parking lot expansion project is scheduled for completion just before Thanksgiving. The project includes 249 new parking spaces in the long-term parking lot along with rerouting Progress Drive. This includes the addition of a traffic circle just north of the La Quinta Inn & Suites by Wyndham South Bend at Old Lincolnway West. The west side entrance to the long-term lot will be relocated south, while the parking lot exit will remain unchanged.
Additional signage, security cameras, lighting, and new emergency call boxes will be installed within the parking lot.
Phase two of the project will commence in the spring of 2020 which includes reconstruction and expansion of the rental car lot. The lot will expand from 220 to 486 spaces.
Mead & Hunt and Performance Services, Inc. serve as engineers while Walsh & Kelly, Inc., EnergyWare, and Burkhart Sign Systems serve as contractors for phase one of the project.
“We are on track to serve more than 800,000 air passengers this year,” said SBN’s executive director, Mike Daigle. “Because more and more business and leisure travelers are choosing to fly from South Bend, the airlines have responded by adding additional seats and a new route. We’ve been closely monitoring parking capacity and due to this growth, we have had to accelerate the timeline to begin and complete this project prior to the busy Thanksgiving travel holiday.”
Inside the terminal, visitors will soon be treated to a smoother ride as they roll their carry-on luggage to the security checkpoint. The tile floor from the atrium just east of the Delta Air Lines ticket counter through baggage claim will be replaced with terrazzo thanks to a grant from Visit South Bend Mishawaka. Earlier this year, SBN applied for and was awarded $138,500 from the St. Joseph County Tourism Capital Development Fund. This grant allowed the airport to expedite a major portion of the public facilities plan.
Mishawaka-based Gibson-Lewis, LLC is the contractor while South Bend-based Creative Design Solutions is the architect on the flooring project.
“SBN serves as the first and last impression for many visitors to St. Joseph County,” said Daigle. “The support from the St. Joseph County Tourism Capital Development Fund has allowed us to expedite the improved aesthetics and user experience leading to first-class amenities for all visitors. These funds were the impetus to our decision to make an even larger impact by replacing the old, broken tiled flooring in the terminal with terrazzo.”