New Reagan National security checkpoints delayed as construction extended

A photo of traffic near into Reagan National Airport
Construction at Reagan National Airport has caused traffic delays to reverberate down the George Washington Parkway, as seen in this photograph taken on Oct. 21, 2018. (WTOP/Dave Dildine)

Rainy weather, design changes and other issues have delayed the completion of new security checkpoint construction at Reagan National Airport.

The opening date has slipped from March 2021 to the end of 2021, according to a presentation set to be given to the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority Board on Wednesday morning.

The new checkpoints will sit between the Metro tracks and Terminal B/C, and replace the ones currently inside Terminal B/C, making it easier to catch a connecting flight. The work has created road closures and other effects at the airport.

Delays are due to unexpected underground conditions, weather, and foundation and structural design changes, the presentation said.

The project remains on its $263 million budget.

Structural steel has just started to go up, and people entering and exiting the airport from the Metro or parking garages are now passing through sealed corridors that the new buildings will be constructed around.

With lane and door closures for people getting picked up or dropped off on the roadways, the Airports Authority said it has improved signage on where to catch taxis, Uber or Lyft.

During the summer Metro shutdown south of the airport, the authority said there were no major impacts on most airport users despite the ongoing construction there.

In addition to the construction on new security checkpoints, work also continues on the new concourse meant to replace Gate 35X.

The commuter jet concourse is still on schedule to be ready in July 2021, although the opening of the security checkpoints is a part of the operations plan.

The frames for the gates are already up in the steel frame of the new concourse; crews are finishing underground utility installation, and the big glass window at the north end of the current terminal is being covered up with a temporary wall so that construction can begin on the
pedestrian connection from that end of the existing terminal to the new concourse.

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