ST. LOUIS – A new construction project at St. Louis-Lambert International Airport is throwing travelers for a loop.
It’s happening at the always busy Terminal 2, home to Southwest Airlines. Both pick-up and drop-off for all passengers have moved to the top level of the parking garage across from the terminal.
The usual “arrivals” level below is closed for improvements. It’s been problematic for years, with nowhere for drivers to easily pull over and pick somebody up after they’ve landed. The work to reconfigure the arrivals level is already pretty far along.
There’s a map online to show people where to go. When the arrivals level reopens in a couple of weeks, improvements should really stand out.
“One is curbside parking, probably the biggest thing people are taking to take away and easily see,” said airport spokesman Roger Lotz. “Another is we’re creating a second lane and that’s going to help with the shuttles coming in and out of here as they normally do.”
The closures have certainly caught people off guard but once they figure out the changes, even the inconvenience is an improvement over the way things were.
“(There’s) a little confusion coming in, trying to figure where we’re supposed to be and where we were supposed to go,” said Elaine Keltie of Farmington. “We were surprised when we pulled up. There was no warning (about the changes).”
“I figured they’d have a good time to do it now, while things are slower,” said Mark McHugh of Bunker Hill.
Neither reported any serious delay in making their flights.
All pedestrians are required to use the crosswalk at Entry 2 to access the terminal. An airport bond issue, passed long before the pandemic, is paying for the project, which carries a price tag of close to $1 million. When completed, the terminal will include a new parking garage entrance separate from the departure and arrival lanes. The new garage entrance is expected to be completed by late fall or early winter.