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Pittsburgh International Airport Celebrates Topping Out of Its New Terminal

The topping out of the new terminal's roof marks the official halfway point of the construction project

by Fergus Cole

May 8, 2023

Photo: Courtesy of Allegheny County Airport Authority

Pittsburgh International Airport (PIT) officials have celebrated the topping out of its new terminal, a significant milestone in the $1.4 billion construction project.

Local community leaders and aviation industry partners joined airport officials on Thursday, May 4, to celebrate the official halfway mark of the Terminal Modernization Program. The project officially began when the ground was broken in October 2021 and is scheduled to be completed by 2025.

The official halfway mark was reached with the ‘topping out’ of the new terminal, which refers to the construction of the highest point of a building or when the last beam is placed on the roof of a structure.

Photo: Eugene Walker, Heavy Equipment Operator for the Allegheny County Airport Authority, signs the final steel beam for the airport’s new terminal structure—courtesy of Beth Hollerich.

Construction began on the new terminal’s roof on April 13, and the dignitaries who joined in the celebrations on Thursday signed the final beam of the roof’s construction, which will be installed this summer.

The $1.4 billion project will provide almost 14,300 jobs to the local economy and is expected to generate around $2.5 billion for Pittsburgh and the western Pennsylvania region.

“The Pittsburgh region is already enjoying substantial economic benefits from the new terminal program, which will only multiply as this innovative project continues to take shape,” said Rich Fitzgerald, Alleghany County Executive. “The new Pittsburgh International Airport will be the anchor for the region as it attracts investment from all over the world.”

Other significant milestones reached in the construction of the new terminal include the completion of the terminal’s foundation, the structure of over half of the mechanically stabilized earth walls for the new roadway, and the start of construction of a 3,300-capacity parking garage —one of the largest parking lots in western Pennsylvania. Work has also begun on a state-of-the-art connector bridge, a covered pedestrian walkway linking the existing airside terminal to the new terminal floor.

Photo: Courtesy of Allegheny County Airport Authority

The construction project, which hasn’t received local tax funding, is being built “for Pittsburgh and by Pittsburgh.”

The design of the project draws inspiration from the local scenery and architecture. Around 90 percent of the materials used are sourced locally from neighboring steel factories.

“This project is a manifestation of our mission, and it is being created by and for the people living in western PA with an emphasis on the nature, technology and community of the region,” said Christina Cassotis, CEO of the Alleghany County Airport Authority.

Photo: Courtesy of Allegheny County Airport Authority

“The new terminal will go further for our community and our passengers to create an innovative and welcoming experience to everyone who walks through here. I thank our community, particularly our elected leaders, for their support to make the idea of a new terminal at PIT a reality.”

Paul Hoback, executive vice president and chief development officer for the Alleghany County Airport Authority, said: “Communities all over western Pennsylvania are playing a role in building the new Pittsburgh International Airport. The people who come to work on this project every day are our friends and neighbors, and we can be proud of what they have accomplished so far.”