CLEARWATER — A new phase of renovations at St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport plus ongoing roadwork on the state’s $580 million Gateway Expressway project mean more changes are coming for passengers and their rides.
So plan ahead and give yourself plenty of time, airport officials said Monday, especially since passenger counts are on a pace to beat last year’s record of 2.2 million passengers.
Things you may notice include:
• Sidewalks outside the terminal will be closed in phases for utility work. This will affect pick-up and drop-off areas for passengers getting rides from family, friends or services such as Uber and Lyft. But don’t count on spending any extra time at the curb loading or unloading. That’s because it will be even more important for that traffic to keep moving. So officials suggest using the cell phone lot near the airport tower when waiting for passengers to land.
• A new entrance to long-term parking is now open. That should minimize congestion in front of the terminal.
• The ground transportation lot is expected to open by Tuesday for taxis, hotel and off-site rental car shuttles and the shuttle to the airport’s economy parking lots. (Airport officials say shuttles to the airport’s economy parking lots may have longer wait or route times.) The short-term parking lot remains closed.
• New parking for visitors covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act is opening closer to the terminal.
The airport’s $13 million project to expand and reconfigure its long-term parking lot was made necessary by the Gateway Expressway, which has moved the main entrance to the airport from Roosevelt Boulevard about a quarter-mile to the south. The expressway will provide a traffic signal-free route from U.S. 19 to Interstate 275 and is also designed to ease congestion on Roosevelt, Ulmerton Road, 49th Street and 118th Avenue N.
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