$78M Duluth Airport Terminal Opens for Passengers

After more than four years in the works, a new passenger terminal at Duluth International Airport opened for public. The new state-of-the-art facility cost $78 million to build and features lots of glass and natural light.

After more than four years in the works, a new passenger terminal at Duluth International Airport has opened. The new state-of-the-art facility cost $78 million to build and features lots of glass and natural light.

The terminal is characterized by a glass-fronted wall rising 40 feet, with a roof imitating the shape of a wave. The passenger concourse can accommodate more than three times the number of passengers the old waiting area could, allowing 400 passengers to board their flights, according to the Duluth News Tribune. “There’s a lot of volume, and it’s grand,” said Elizabeth Samsa of TKDA, the lead interior designer.

Samsa added that warm wood tones were used on wall panels and portions of the ceiling to balance the natural light. The new design was meant to create a warmer airport than the old one, which was built in 1973.

Next month, developers will start demolishing the old terminal, which sits behind the new one, in order to make way for more aircraft parking. The parking ramp project, which is expected to be completed in the fall of 2013, is part of the $78 million project cost.

The project was entirely financed with federal grants and state bonding money.

The designer, Reynolds, Smith & Hill, sought LEED Silver certification for the 110,000-square-foot terminal, which features sustainable green energy elements like geothermal heating, natural lighting and a highly efficient water system. The general contractor was Minneapolis-based Kraus-Anderson Construction Co.

Photo of the new terminal at Duluth International Airport: Bob King of the Duluth News Tribune, rking@duluthnews.com.

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