ARLINGTON, Va. - If you have been anywhere near Reagan National Airport lately, you have most likely seen the traffic jams in the area as roadwork at the airport is causing some major congestion.
While this is bad news for travelers, especially if you or your family are planning to fly during the busy holiday travel season, this is all part of a multi-year billion dollar airport improvement project.
The road in front of Terminal B and C outside of the Arrivals area on the lower level has gone down from four lanes to just one lane, causing traffic to bottleneck and leading to backups as far as the George Washington Memorial Parkway.
It’s going to stay this way for the next several months while crews build the foundations for two new 50,000-square foot security checkpoints.
So here is what you need to know while the construction project is ongoing:
- The Cell Phone Lot is closed and will stay closed until this phase of the project is complete.
- People should pick up airport passengers at Terminal Parking Garages A, B, or C.
- Parking in the garages will be free for the first hour to accommodate people who would normally wait in the Cell Phone Lot.
- There will still be curbside access to pick up arrivals, but airport officials say they really don't want people circling the airport if they arrive early.
- Airport shuttles, hotel shuttles and all other off-airport transportation have moved to the ticketing level. Passengers arriving in baggage claim will have to go up to Level 3.
- Taxi, Uber and Lyft pickup locations will not change during this time.
“The middle of November to the end of year is our busiest time for vehicles coming to airport,” said Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority spokesperson Rob Yingling. “Folks are picking up and dropping off loved ones, family members, college students, people coming back from big trips and that is when we see the most impact out here, and that is what we are most concerned about – getting folks educated about that. It’s going to be a little bit different this year.”
There is also some roadwork happening on the ticketing level. Crews are putting a waterproofing treatment on the pavement as part of the project. That will close down sections of the road outside of the Departures area, but officials say that work will be done before the Thanksgiving holiday rush.
This phase of construction will be finished in 2019 and the entire project is scheduled to be completed by 2021.