Airport access ready today even if airport isn't

Surface street access ready, interstate off-ramps still years away

Chris Miller
May 15, 2019 - 8:17 am

Travelers and city officials were looking forward to this day being the grand opening of the new terminal at Armstrong International Airport, but due to the complexity of the project and the desire to make the transition as little hassle as possible, the opening will take place in the fall. But one item connected to the project is ready, however -- the improvements done to Loyola Drive between I-10 and Veterans Boulevard. 

"DoTD, to their credit, jumped on this project, really hustled through this program and this roadway was going to be ready and delivered prior to the May 15 opening," New Orleans Aviation Board director Kevin Dolliole told the New Orleans City Council in a recent update. Airport officials say they are still working toward a fall opening, but no new target date has been announced.

Meanwhile, Scott Boyle with the state Department of Transportation and Development says they'll work on figuring out the best timing for the traffic lights to manage the flow in and out of the airport.

"We feel that there will be great benefit in the interim and moving forward until the permanent project is completed," Boyle said. 

When the new terminal opens, the most direct route will be to exit at Loyola Drive in Kenner and proceed toward south Veterans Boulevard. Drivers will have to negotiate the Loyola/Veterans intersection, but once south of Veterans, will be able to proceed directly to the new terminal's arrivals/departures lanes.

The DoTD this summer will choose a design-build firm for the flyover ramps to let airport-bound traffic bypass Veterans Blvd. altogether. Construction of that should begin in spring of 2020, with work to be done in 2023.


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