Growing Pains Produce Parking Problems at RDU
Posted March 2, 1998 6:00 a.m. EST
MORRISVILLE — Raleigh Durham International Airport is experiencing growing pains. In order to build a new 2,700 space parking garage, construction workers need to take 800 current parking spots out of service and that's causing some headaches for travelers.
The parking garage is just one of several construction projects currently going on at RDU. Some existing terminals are getting face-lifts, a new concourse is being built, and East International Drive near air traffic control towers is closed for construction.
RDU spokesperson Rick Martinez says airport traffic is increasing at a rate that's twice the national average.
While officials tout the fact that such grow is good in the long run, some passengers say the short term effects can be very inconvenient.
Passenger Frank Faulkner told WRAL-TV5'sKelly Wrighthe was taken by surprise Tuesday morning.
Some people, frustrated with the lack of parking, have begun parking illegally. That, in turn, has increased towing at the airport. Passengers are encouraged to allow extra time for delays and to use the park and ride service.
One passenger using the service said the inconvenience stems from having to pass by the park and ride area, then find there's no parking available at the airport. That means going back out to the park and ride.
Passenger David Hamby says he has no problem with the minor inconveniences at RDU, because he's seen bigger problems at bigger airports.
There are also plans to widen the road right in front of the terminals.
Much of the construction will be completed in phases. The new concourse is expected to open in May, but the parking garage is not scheduled for completion until the summer of 1999.