Hobby prepares for international flights
Southwest Airlines recently unveiled its international destinations that will originate from the new international concourse at Hobby Airport.
With the start of international flights beginning Oct. 15, construction continues on the international terminal project including a five-gate concourse, federal inspection services facility, multilevel parking garage with 3,000 spaces and roadway modifications.
“Construction began almost two years ago, and it’s exciting to see the facility take shape as we approach opening day,” said Houston Airport System Deputy General Manager Jesus Saenz. “While the bulk of the project has been completed, the team is working swiftly on the remaining aspects to ensure that we have an opening day fresh facility on Oct. 15.”
Many aspects of the construction projects have already been completed, including the upper U-ramp, new utility pathways and enhanced roadway lighting.
The pedestrian crossover bridge sections were erected in June and will connect the new garage and the terminal by this fall.
Southwest will officially open its new ticket counters on Sept. 1. Airport beautification improvements are also soon to come, including entryway monuments and enhanced landscaping.
The Hobby project is the latest step forward in the continued growth of international passengers coming to Houston Airport System commercial airports.
Both Hobby Airport and George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH) saw record-breaking numbers in 2014, with more than 53 million passengers combined traveling through the two airports. Of that, nearly 10 million were international travelers passing through IAH.
Those numbers figure to only grow with the opening of the Hobby International Terminal Project, and the economic impact to the Houston area will be significant.
A study conducted by HAS estimates the Hobby International Terminal will bring an additional 1 million air travelers each year, which will mean 10,000 new jobs to the region and provide a $1.6 billion impact annually to the local economy.
The long-awaited project to repair Hughes Road from Beltway 8 to Sagecanyon is currently underway and will continue for roughly 500 days.
To minimize traffic congestion around Frazier Elementary, work will begin there first while school is out, according to City of Houston Public Works and Engineering Department spokesman Alvin Wright.
The first stretch of the road to be repaired will be the westbound lanes near Frazier from Sagecanyon to Sagemeadow.
Once those lanes are complete, crews will work on the eastbound lanes. Wright said it is hoped this phase of construction will be complete by the time school starts on Aug. 25. Wright further said it is hoped that the stretch of road in front of Stuchbery will also be done before school resumes. Plans in the near future call for diverting traffic from the beltway past the area school on the Stuchbery side of the road, while crews work on the Sagemont Church side of the road.
In the works for more than a decade, the Hughes Road project will remove existing paving and replace it, along with curb, gutter and sidewalks on both sides of the street and provide necessary storm sewer upgrades and street lighting.
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