Charlotte airport officials show work on future pedestrian tunnels

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Officials at the Charlotte-Douglas airport gave Channel 9 an exclusive tour of a major project. Excavating for a new pedestrian tunnel has started as part of the new, elevated roadway that will add new lanes of traffic.

While taking a tour of the work Monday, anchor Scott Wickersham learned the new lanes will be ready sooner than expected.

Senior project manager Tom Barnett showed Eyewitness News the massive trenches that are 20 feet below the surface for pedestrian tunnels which connect the rental car facility and parking decks with the terminal.

Workers are burrowing down into the dirt and using support beams to prevent a collapse and cranes to lower equipment like backhoes for the major upgrade.

It’s not just below ground.

“In the future, a walkway will connect here to the terminal expansion,” Barnett said.

There will eventually be eight lanes of traffic at the airport, and officials want the tunnels for safety reasons. When the lobby is expanded, it will connect the pedestrian skyway and tunnels to the terminal.

Deputy Aviation Director Jack Christine said the project is moving so quickly, the new lanes will open a year early in summer 2018.

The tunnels won't be usable until crews expand the terminal, slated to be done in 2021.

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