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Atlanta airport begins $6 billion in upgrades

Staff writer |
Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL) officials began work on ATLNext, the Airport’s $6 billion capital improvement plan.

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Under the plan, a 20-year blueprint for growth, ATL will modernize its terminal, expand its cargo operations and concourses, replace its parking facilities, and pave the way for a hotel and mixed-use development project.

“The Memorial Day weekend was as busy as expected,” interim Airport General Manager Roosevelt Council, Jr. said. “We worked with our TSA colleagues and our airline partners to ensure customers received a pleasant, efficient travel experience.”

One of the first projects in the plan is a six-week effort that will modernize the West Crossover, the escalator corridor linking the Airport’s Plane Train with the baggage claim areas.

As part of this project, early Thursday morning the Airport retired the “Spirit of Atlanta,” the 70-foot-wide mural of children playing at Centennial Olympic Park.

A video screen providing important information to all passengers making their way up the escalator will replace the mural, which will be preserved in digital form.

Various representations of the image will be included in the video display, which will make certain the smiling children in the iconic exhibit will continue to welcome visitors to ATL.

“The ATLNext modernization project will prepare our Airport for the future,” interim Airport General Manager Roosevelt Council Jr. said today. “We’ll honor our past by ensuring the Spirit of Atlanta remains, in some form, to welcome our guests for years to come.”

The construction will require rerouting passengers, sometimes intermittently, from midnight to 5:30 a.m. Sunday through Thursday each week for six weeks. Guests traveling during these early-morning hours will exit the Plane Train at Concourse T and make their way to baggage claim along a revised route.

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