ROCK SPRINGS — After several years of planning and design, the Southwest Wyoming Regional Airport kicked-off it’s $19.51 million Commercial Terminal Modernization Project on August 23rd. Contractors began demolition of sidewalks and parking lots on the east side of the building where rental cars were previously housed to make room for over 17,000 square feet of additional terminal space.
The 16-month project, expected to wrap up by December 2022, is funded by $13.8 million in Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Airport Improvement Program (AIP) Grants, $3 million in Wyoming Business Council Business Ready Communities funding, $1.4 million in Wyoming Department of Transportation (WYDOT) grant funding, $850,000 in funding from Sweetwater County, $425,000 in funding from the City of Rock Springs, and $75,000 in airport restricted reserves.
“The award of these grants is a testament to the importance of this project to Southwest Wyoming’s economic future; recognized by the Airport Board, Sweetwater County Commission, the City of Rock Springs, and the granting entities,” stated Devon Brubaker, Airport Director, “Since 2018, all of these partners have worked together to plan for and develop a project that will support the region well beyond this decade. As the airport rebounds from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on global air travel, the timing couldn’t be better to invest in our local economy.”
The Commercial Terminal Modernization Project will include the expansion and renovation of the existing commercial airline terminal as well as several utility upgrades that will allow for decades of airport growth. Ultimately, the terminal will be doubled in size from its current 17,000 sq. ft. footprint. The look and feel of the terminal will be drastically altered to improve passenger comfort, amenities, accessibility and processing, with additional improvements including increased checkpoint and hold room space, a modern baggage claim area, a public airfield observation area, hold room concessions, a passenger boarding bridge, and modernized security equipment to improve passenger and baggage screening. Utility improvements include a new natural gas main to the airport as well as a new whole-airport sanitary sewer system.
Construction is slated to continue through the end of 2022. The airport will remain open throughout construction, with the airport and its construction team (T-O Engineers, Mead & Hunt, and Sletten Construction) working on detailed phasing plans to ensure minimal impacts to the travelling public.
The Commercial Terminal Modernization signifies the mid-point of a multi-year $50+ million capital improvement program that has seen multiple runway and taxiway improvements, replacement of the airport’s 75+ year old general aviation terminal, replacement of the airport’s 40-year-old fuel farm, the addition of a BLM Single Engine Air Tanker Base, and the addition of a new Snow Removal Equipment Building. Future project still to be completed include the expansion of the general aviation apron, construction of additional hangar space, and further airfield pavement and lighting rehabilitation.