RDU Airport, N.C. – Riding shotgun in a brand-new ParkRDU Express electric vehicle, RDU’s first construction mascot (Patch the Bulldog) officially launched a major preservation project for the 11,000 space garage between the airport’s terminals, during a kick-off event this morning.
The Airport Authority will perform extensive infrastructure improvement work throughout the ParkRDU Central portion of the garage over the next eight months. The work will extend the life of the garage, sections of which range from 13-30 years old, and require the closure of up to 1,500 spaces at any given time. The work is preventative in nature and there are no immediate safety concerns in any of our parking areas. And, we haven’t forgotten about our customers.
“Our customers love parking close to the terminal and we want them to be able to do so for many years to come. That’s why we’re undertaking this critical preservation work,” said Airport Authority President and CEO Michael Landguth. “Since our customers are at the center of all of our decisions, we are investing additional resources to add people and amenities to Park RDU Central.”
The ParkRDU Preservation Project will focus on infrastructure improvements including steel and concrete repair, expansion joint replacement, pipe replacement as well as cleaning and painting. Closures will be sequenced to allow as many spaces as possible to remain open for as much time as possible.
The first parking section will close on Monday, April 24. Once a section closes, it will take two weeks for cars to clear a section so that work can begin. Therefore, customers may see largely empty closed-off sections unavailable for parking.
“Travel can be stressful and our goal is to minimize additional stress during this project,” said Kristie VanAuken, Airport Authority vice president for communications and community affairs. “We’ve thought very carefully about ways to help our customers find parking quickly and easily so they can connect with the people and places that matter most.”
Ahead of the project, the Airport Authority has invested approximately a half million dollars on the following efforts to minimize customer impacts:
- Website Updates. Recent enhancements make it easier than ever to check parking status on rdu.com. A dedicated project page with status updates, tips and information can be found at www.rdu.com/patch.
- Additional Staff. Every Monday-Thursday (peak parking days) up to 10 parking ambassadors will be in ParkRDU Central & Economy lots guiding customers to available spaces quickly and ensuring every open space is utilized.
- Electric Vehicles. Two new electric vehicles will continuously circle the parking garage, picking up customers and transporting them between their cars and the terminal entrances.
- More Shuttles. During the work, ParkRDU Central will fill to capacity. We have added additional economy lot shuttle busses to reduce wait times.
The following tips are also advised to ensure a more relaxing travel experience.
- Arrive 2 Hours Early. With more passengers flying through RDU than ever before and our busy summer travel season ahead, passengers are encouraged to arrive at RDU two hours before their flight to allow for parking, check-in and security screening.
- Cell Phone Lot. Those picking up arriving passengers are encouraged to use our Cell Lot. Cars may wait in the lot until after arriving passengers claim their bags. It is close and free.
For the first time, RDU is launching a construction mascot to build public awareness of the parking preservation project. Patch will appear on signage and on shuttle bus announcements around the campus and on the Airport Authority’s social media channels: Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram and YouTube.
About the Raleigh-Durham Airport Authority
The Raleigh-Durham Airport Authority and its 300+ strong workforce operates and manages Raleigh-Durham International Airport, the primary air travel gateway to central North Carolina. The airport serves more than 11 million passengers each year, averaging more than 30,000 customers every day and is home to more than 5,000 employees. RDU contributes more than $8.5 billion and 20,000 jobs to the region’s economy each year. RDU has the lowest average airfare among commercial airports in North Carolina (compared to NC commercial airports with more than 250,000 enplanements annually). The Airport Authority has won the Triangle Business Journal’s Heathiest Employer of the Triangle for the past three years straight. For more information about RDU, visit rdu.com or follow the airport @RDUAirport on Twitter.