CLT to Open Five Lower Level Lanes to Public

Five lower level lanes of the Elevated Roadway and Terminal Curb Front at Charlotte Douglas International Airport will open to the public 11 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 24. Drivers headed to the lower level should follow signage to arrivals.

CLT is designating two of the five lanes for drop off/pick up. The three other lanes near the Hourly Deck are for traffic throughput. For travelers using a ride-app service, such as Uber or Lyft, pick up will be located on the upper level starting Friday, Oct. 25 and will relocate to lower level Zone 4 of the public lanes at 5 a.m. Oct. 31.

Private and commercial vehicles (shuttles/buses) will share the five public lanes Oct. 24 – Oct. 31. The separation will occur at 5 a.m. Oct. 31 when commercial vehicles will shift to the three new lower level lanes. The current public lower level roadway will close in preparation for the Terminal Lobby Expansion project.

Colorful signage with large numbers will be located along the roadway beginning Oct. 31 to help returning passengers identify their exact pick-up location. The $50 million roadway project is part of Destination CLT, a $2.5 to $3.1 billion capital investment program that includes concourse renovations and expansion of CLT’s roadways, curb front, airfield and terminal. Over the past 20 years, CLT has experienced tremendous growth, increasing from 23 million passengers in 1998 to more than 46 million passengers in 2018. As the sixth busiest airport nationwide and seventh worldwide, Destination CLT is designed to meet growth demand through 2035.

In April, the Airport opened five new upper level lanes (three for traffic throughput and two drop-off/pick-up lanes). Since the terminal opened in May 1982, three upper and lower level lanes have been available to the public. The growth of local passengers using the roadway in the last 10 years, however, has increased dramatically, spurring the need for additional traffic lanes.

The last section of the Elevated Roadway and Curb Front project that CLT will open are the three upper level lanes near the terminal. Those lanes are complete, but will be used to store equipment for the Terminal Lobby Expansion. Construction begins in December on the $600 million project. Once the lobby expansion is complete in four to five years, the lanes will be used by commercial vehicles.

CLT plans to expand the terminal lobby north to create additional space for security screening, ticketing and baggage claim areas, a central energy plant, offices and lobby circulation space. The project also includes the construction of passenger skybridges, pedestrian tunnels and exterior canopy.