The Central Terminal at Sea-Tac Airport was completely expanded, seismically upgraded and remodeled during a two year period commencing shortly after the events of September 11, 2001. The Central Terminal at Sea-Tac Airport is the anchor for Alaska/Horizon and Delta Air Lines baggage operations and is the crossroad and hub for most pedestrian air travelers. Passengers departing, arriving or connecting at Sea-Tac, walked through our construction area.
Project documents contained basic phasing plans, but these designs were created and issued prior to the events of 9/11 and the inception of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). JE Dunn developed expanded phasing plans to accommodate major structural demolition and construction of the new terminal shell, interior build-out and finishes.
Coupled with the new rules imposed by the TSA, the operations logistic plans had to serve many stakeholders (TSA, FAA, Airside Operations, Landside Operations, Terminal Operations, Airlines, etc.). Temporary pedestrian tunnels were constructed to route passengers and airport guests through the project. The tunnels were built of fireproof lumber, were handicap accessible and portable. They were well-lit, contained non-slip flooring, temporary fire protection and were safe for the public to use while carrying luggage. In addition, the tunnels were secure enough to prevent intrusion from the terminal side to the air operations side. The security aspect was achieved using wire security mesh in areas where plywood or solid surface wasn't possible. The tunnels interfaced with fire rated zones in the existing adjacent terminals and passageways. The tunnels were equipped with highly visible signage for passengers and other users of the airport.
Since Sea-Tac is a 24-hour facility, changing phases was always a major production. Pre-planning, communication and coordination with all of the airport and construction entities was very important for each transition to happen smoothly. There were multiple moves required throughout the project and several moves required near the end due to the extensive use of terrazzo and stone tile flooring.
Below the terminal, the two airline tenants conducted uninterrupted baggage handling operations during construction. Our original task was to seismically upgrade this part of the structure. But, after 9/11, new baggage screening equipment was required to be installed concurrently with the structural modifications. This was another coordination and scheduling challenge which was very successful due to our staff's willingness plan, schedule and over-communicate with every stake holder involved.
Access to the terminal structure was from the airside. Movement of major material and equipment required construction traffic to share common terminal aprons and roadways with airplanes and swiftly moving luggage cart tugs. JE Dunn created detailed logistic plans showing routes of travel. Shift times were adjusted and major material movements coincided with lull periods in airline schedules. Again, a high level of communication and coordination was required to make for a safe and smooth operation.