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Something new: Ground Transportation division prepares to open redesigned center
By DeAllous Smith

Construction crews are bringing down the walls and clearing the walkways to a redesigned Ground Transportation center. When the $2.5 million project opens on October 29, passengers traveling through the area will enjoy new artwork, a gathering platform for entertainment, a fenced-in play area for their favorite pooches and benches in a park-like atmosphere.

“This area is destined to become the Airport’s new front door,” said Winston Cooper, Ground Transportation manager. “The addition of a park area promises to transform the overall Airport experience for our passengers and their pets.

“We’re essentially adding a ‘town square’ component to our operations.”

For months, customers at Hartsfield-Jackson patiently endured the area’s construction and followed signs past the barricades and into the main terminal building. Airport police officers guided vehicles, while Ground Transportation representatives answered questions and directed travelers.

“I can’t believe they’ve started to bring down the construction walls,” said Mary Jenkins, who was traveling through Hartsfield-Jackson. “I remember when construction first started; I really didn’t know what to expect. Whenever I traveled through [the west curb area], everyone was very helpful and friendly. I could always find someone to assist me.”

On average, 17,000 people pass through the area each day, so Cooper views the park’s location as a bonus to the Airport. “It’s directly underneath the new rental car center’s automated people mover system. Travelers, luggage and pets are shielded from the elements of Mother Nature.”

In August, Aviation officials closed the Airport’s south crosswalk and redirected passengers toward the Terminal North entrance.

“We’re simply reversing the flow of foot traffic in the area to accommodate the final construction schedule,” Cooper said. “The final pieces of the puzzle are almost in place.”

The center’s redesign is part of the Airport’s $6.2 billion-plus in capital improvements. Once the center is complete, the Airport’s shuttle contractor, The Atlanta Link, will move back to the Ground Transportation center, and local and regional shared-ride shuttles will relocate closer to the terminal. Rental car buses will be replaced by the automated people mover, known as the ATL SkyTrain, to the new rental car center that is set to open in November.

“We appreciate the patience that our customers and drivers have displayed throughout the past 30 months,” Cooper said. “The efforts of today will ensure that all travelers and their pets continue to enjoy a pleasurable and memorable experience at Hartsfield-Jackson.”

Concourse E
Work continues at the site of the revamped Ground Transportation center. A "town square" area will be shielded by the ATL SkyTrain, which will move customers to the Airport's new rental car center when it opens in November.


© 2009 Hartsfield-Jackson News. A Publication from Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. All rights reserved.

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