A topping out ceremony has been held for the construction of the new North Terminal at Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport in Louisiana, marking a major milestone for the US$1bn project. The beam was signed by all of the nearly 750 workers on-site as well as local officials and airport employees.
Mitch Landrieu (below), New Orleans mayor, said, “It was an honor to join the construction crew as we marked this major construction milestone for the North Terminal project. Through this project, we are delivering on our commitment to ensure that the people of New Orleans rebuild New Orleans. A diverse workforce is hard at work building this new terminal, and I am proud to see the progress we are making.”
The signed beam is the highest of approximately 34,000 pieces of structural steel that make up the terminal building. Before being installed, the beam was adorned with the American flag and an evergreen tree for good luck and prosperity for the future occupants of the building.
Kevin Dolliole, director of aviation for Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport, said, “This is an exciting project milestone that celebrates the dedication of all the workers that have had a hand in this project. The new terminal will be a major part of New Orleans for decades to come and is an important piece of infrastructure that will be more than just a building; it will be the new gateway to New Orleans and the Gulf South region.”
Announced in April 2013, the North Terminal is currently under construction on the north side of the existing airport, creating thousands of new construction jobs and opportunities for local businesses and disadvantaged business enterprises (DBEs) in the region. The 972,000ft² terminal will feature three concourses, 35 gates, and a 2,190-car parking garage. The facility is set to open in February 2019.
After the new terminal is completed, New Orleans Airport will support more than 64,000 jobs, US$6.4bn in local spending, and US$2.4bn in local earnings. The airport’s economic impact will increase approximately 20% in the next six years.