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Parking could be difficult at RDU as multi-million dollar project begins

Posted April 20

— Big changes to parking structures at Raleigh-Durham International Airport could bring years of impact to travelers.

The parking preservation project is scheduled to begin Monday and run through the end of the year. It will be the first phase of a 5-year, multi-million dollar parking project.

Sections of the central parking deck between terminals 1 and 2 at RDU are 30 years old. The deck is structurally sound, but with all the cars and inclement weather through the years, it’s showing its age.

During the project, crews will restripe, repaint and repair cracks and expansion joints as well as replace pipes.

At any given time, 1,500 of the decks approximately 11,000 spaces will be closed. RDU officials said closures will be sequenced to allow as many spaces as possible to remain open for as long as possible.

"It can become a problem. I think the best way is to make sure they have constant transportation for those people parking far away," said traveler Cassandra Caslip.

The airport is taking several measures to alleviate some of the frustration and headaches that can come with a project of this size.

“We’re adding additional economy lot shuttle buses. There will be times, particularly during midweek, when the garage will fill to capacity. We’re adding additional shuttle buses to reduce times to 10 minutes to we can get you flying faster,” said RDU Airport Authority president and CEO.

The airport plans to hire additional parking ambassadors who will help passengers find available spots in the parking deck, if there are any.

Two new electric vehicles will also take passengers from the central deck to terminal walkways.

"This is a great parking deck, a great airport and as travelers, we just need to be understanding when they need to do maintenance work of that kind," said traveler George Howard.

RDU officials suggest passengers check the airport website for parking updates before heading out.

The first phase of the project is expected to cost $4.5 million. The second phase of the project will focus on elevator repair.

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