San Diego Business Journal

New Airport Improvements Are Traveler and Fido Friendly

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Another part of the Lindbergh Field Green Build project was opened recently with six new gates in Terminal 2 operating, giving passengers a taste of what’s to come when the entire project is completed in August.

While the gates and new artwork gracing the ceiling look impressive, the biggest hit of the latest phase to be unveiled by airport officials is a doggie restroom complete with fake grass and a fire hydrant.

“We’re one of the first in the country to have something like this. Everybody’s raving about it,” said airport spokeswoman Katie Jones.

The entrance to several new human restrooms have new digital art called “Donde Esta?” showing changing landscapes. Above the corridor leading to the gates is another artwork, “The Journey,” an elongated series of lights that create various images.

In all, the reconstructed terminal will have 11 new artworks, costing about $6 million, including installation costs, said Constance White, the airport’s art project manager.

That cost is part of the overall $1.2 billion price tag for the Green Build that adds 10 new gates; a dual level roadway that connects to the terminal and has smart check-in kiosks, expanded security gates, and a large concession area.

Last month, the airport opened up six new security gates, doubling the number.

Thella Bowens, chief executive for the San Diego County Regional Airport Authority, the agency that manages the airport, said the Green Build (named for using lots of environmentally sensitive construction methods) is both on schedule and under budget.

“It’s $45 million under our original budget,” Bowens said. Most of those savings came from far lower financing costs associated with two bond issues. But the project also saved a great deal by using a design/build process of construction that is more efficient, she said.

Since the newly built far western wing opened, Bowens said she’s heard only positive feedback.

“That’s what our goal was, to provide a facility that meets passengers’ needs and helps them feel like they’re having an experience that’s less stressful and more memorable.”

— Mike Allen