New Inbound Roadway Work Begun
A new roadway project is underway to improve Memphis International's roadway and parking. A new inbound roadway with five lanes will be located to the west of the current two-lane system. This roadway will eliminate the traffic signal and intersection on the current route making the trip to the terminal more convenient for immediate dropping-off and picking-up of passengers.
Work has also begun on realigning and widening the roadways to the hotel, connections to existing curbside ramps and roadways to the parking garages. The roadway project is scheduled for completion in early 2008. A new 7-level parking garage is also planned. Work on the structure will begin in 2008 and is scheduled for completion in 2010.
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The roadway system will provide room for a new control tower, which will be located just to the west of the existing one in the path of the old outbound roadway. The tower will stand approximately 335 feet - approximately 150 feet taller than the existing tower. The tower cab on top will increase from 200 to 850 square feet. The taller and more spacious new tower will provide maximum visibility of airborne traffic patterns and a clear, unobstructed and direct view of the approaches to runway ends, as well as all airport surface areas utilized for movement of aircraft.
The existing control tower which was commissioned in 1977 has experienced significant growth over the past 29 years and is now operating as a high activity facility. With traffic density and complexity at Memphis International continuing to increase, the facility must be replaced to meet growth demands. This will be an 18-24 month project that is scheduled to begin in summer 2007.
New signage will make driving around Memphis International easier. All signs leading towards the terminal will be blue, while all signs leading away from the terminal will be green. New electronic LED message signs will provide up-to-date parking and roadway conditions and security information. The messages will be shown on the bottom of the blue and green directional signs. Finally, in order to make the drive more aesthetically pleasing and relaxing for visitors, new landscaping around the roadways will create an orchard-like environment using native trees and sweeping lawns.