Hartsfield-Jackson to move forward on end-around taxiway

Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport is moving forward with plans to build a curving taxiway to reduce delays and improve safety.

The project has been in the works for years, though it was temporarily put on hold last year when the COVID-19 pandemic drove a sharp decline in flights.

The Atlanta City Council’s transportation committee voted to move forward with phase 2 of the project and will advance the measure on to the full council for approval.

The cost was previously estimated at about $70 million, but is now expected to cost $80.5 million.

During phase 2, which will cost $55.9 million, McCarthy Improvement will demolish concrete, asphalt and underground utilities; build jet blast walls, retaining walls and an embankment; relocate nearby airport roads; and construct the taxiway curve to connect other taxiways.

The first phase, involving ground work at the site, was completed in November 2018. It was followed by work on the design for phase 2, which was completed in mid-2020 before the work was contracted out.

The new “end-around” taxiway on the south side of the airfield will increase the maximum departure rate, reduce delays during taxiing and greatly decrease the need for aircraft to cross a runway.

The Federal Aviation Administration approved grant funding for a portion of the cost of the project.

Runway crossings increase the risk of aircraft entering the path of another plane that is taking off or landing. End-around taxiways can improve safety.

The south end-around taxiway project comes after the airport built an end-around known as taxiway Victor on the north side of the airfield in 2007, to eliminate 600 to 700 runway crossings a day.

Hartsfield-Jackson said plans for the new end-around taxiway “was prompted, in part, by the success of the taxiway Victor project.”

McCarthy submitted the lowest bid for nearly two year’s worth of work.