Parking structures are 40 years old and need to be renovated and modernized, said Tom Nissalke, Hartsfield-Jackson Deputy Managing Director of Planning and Development.
“These bridges are heavily used,” he said.
To compensate for the loss of parking capacity near the domestic terminal, the airport will rely on remote facilities.
Airport officials want travelers to consider using the ATL West parking lot, which opened last year near the Rental Car Center and the Georgia International Convention Center and is connected to the domestic terminal by free SkyTrain. Another option is the ATL Select car park on Sullivan Road, which has a shuttle service and also opened last year. The airport also has a Park-Ride Lot C with shuttle service.
But these options are not as convenient as the existing options North and South car parks. This could cause frustration for travelers used to parking at the nearest bridges for daily parking and walking a short distance to the terminal.
With fewer spaces available, bridges are likely to fill up more quickly, forcing motorists approaching the airport to divert to another location to park. For travelers in a hurry to catch a flight, such detours can be particularly infuriating.
Jai Ferrell, Hartsfield-Jackson’s assistant general manager of business development, said the airport will have nearly as many spaces available, but “we’re just redirecting a lot of the parking.”
Some lower level roadway lanes of the South Terminal will also be closed due to construction.
Michelle Ansley of Anniston, Alabama drove to Hartsfield-Jackson on Friday for the first time and parked on the North Bridge to pick up her granddaughter.
If the parking lot had been full, “I wouldn’t know where to go or where to return, or the shuttle process,” Ansley said. She said she imagined the construction “would really cause a lot of anxiety”.
The first phase of work in May to install reinforcement bars in the deck will begin on the inner half of the terminal’s south parking deck, near Delta’s check-in and baggage claim area. Structural renewal work will be carried out on levels 1, 2 and 3.
While this work is being carried out, the terminal’s north deck will remain open, along with the upper level of the south deck and the spaces on the outer half of the deck farthest from the terminal.
The airport plans to move hourly parking from Level 3 to the ground floor. Parking for disabled passengers will be moved to level 4 in the daily parking lot, and the South Gold Reserve parking lot will be moved.
The initial reinforcement work on the south bridge is expected to last until January 2023, after which work will begin to reinforce the north bridge on the other side of the terminal.
Parking decks tend to reach capacity during peak periods. As of Friday afternoon, the daily parking lots, economy parking lots and Park-Ride C parking lot were all listed as full on the airport’s website.
In recent years the airport has changed its car park construction plans due to changes in parking demand and changing consumer habits. Increased use of ride-sharing services such as Uber and Lyft has reduced parking demand.
Yet parking brings in tens of millions of dollars to the airport each year, a vital source of revenue that the airport is keen to preserve.
An original proposal to replace the old bridges with new doubles in size was scaled down. Then the pandemic further undermined demand.
Current airport manager Balram Bheodari has decided to go ahead with a plan to consolidate the existing bridges and then rebuild them. roughly the same capacity.
But first, the initial phases will extend the life of existing bridges an additional three to five years before the structures are completely replaced.
After the existing bridges are reinforced, the airport plans to start construction of a new bridge and then gradually rebuild the existing bridges.
Hartsfield-Jackson Parking Options
Hourly parking and daily parking are at the parking decks that will be under construction, starting with the South Deck this year. Hourly parking will be moved to the ground floor of the terrace and daily parking will be limited due to construction.
Hourly parking: $3 per hour for the first two hours, $4 per hour thereafter, $36 per day after 6 hours
Daily parking: $3 per hour, $19 per day
West ATL Bridge: $16 per day
Economy parking: $14 per day
Park-Ride Lot C: $10 per day.
ATL Select car parks: $10 per day for uncovered parking, $14 per day for covered parking
(Park-Ride Lots A and B closed due to the construction of an end traffic lane.)
Signs on airport roads direct motorists to various parking options. The airport has parking and lot status updates on its website at atl.com – although the status can quickly change to full, especially during peak periods. Tune in to 830 AM for airport parking information.
Take a photo of your parking spot as a reminder when you return from your trip.
Private car parks outside the airportincluding those on Camp Creek Road, are another popular option
MARTEN is another alternative. The airport’s MARTA station is located inside the domestic terminal.