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Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson Airport Begins Concourse D Upgrade

Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson Airport Begins Concourse D Upgrade

As program manager, WSP provides comprehensive support for innovative modular construction plan at world’s busiest airport.

ATLANTA — WSP, a leading engineering, environment and professional services consultancy, joined airport, city and federal leaders, including U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, for the start of a long-awaited expansion of Concourse D at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport.

“This $1.4 billion project is one of many planned at Hartsfield-Jackson in the coming years and is aimed at increasing the 44-year-old Concourse D’s footprint, widening it from 60 feet to 99 feet and extending its overall length by 288 feet,” said Todd McClendon, senior vice president of aviation at WSP and area director responsible for several ATLNext Capital Improvement Program projects.

WSP is serving as project manager for the Concourse D project on behalf of the client, the City of Atlanta’s Department of Aviation. In this role, WSP, along with joint venture partners H.J. Russell & Company and Turner & Townsend Heery, provides multiple services, including program management, project management support, sustainability management, design management, project controls, contract administration, document control, invoice compliance, contracts, finance, design reviews and supplier diversity outreach, and monitoring and reporting.

“The terminal expansion is a combination of modular construction and traditional construction,” said Edmund Ramos, vice president project management at WSP and deputy Concourse D project director. “We saw a real efficiency in building the modules on a remote site at the airport, while, at the same time, working on the needed foundation and utility relocation works at the concourse.

The module placed ahead of the April 26 ceremony is the first of 19 scheduled to be set in place as part of a multi-phased construction schedule. This method will keep as many gates open as possible during construction. Modules are moved to the concourse within a three-hour window (1-to-4 a.m.) on the same day each week, using the same process each time:

  • The module is lifted by self-propelled modular transporters at the modular yard.
  • The owner’s airside operations team coordinates with the tower to get the green light to start moving.
  • Once started, the journey of just over a mile to Concourse D takes about 45 minutes to complete and the module crosses two runways in the process.

“No one else has done what we are doing – a project of this scale combining modular and typical stick build construction while keeping a concourse operational. It’s a total team effort,” said Chris Rogers, senior vice president aviation engineering at WSP and program manager for the Atlanta airport ATLNext Capital Improvement Program.

Design started in April 2022 and underground utility enabling work began in November 2023. Work on the modules began in January 2024.

Construction mandates from the airport and airlines required Concourse D remain operational with a limited number of gates taken out of service to minimize revenue impacts. The module concept meets these requirements.

When completed, Concourse D will have 34 aircraft designed Group III new gates that accommodate larger aircraft and provides 20 percent more seating at peak period. 

About WSP in the U.S.

WSP USA is the U.S. operating company of WSP, one of the world’s leading engineering, environment and professional services firms. Recognized in 2023 on TIME’s list of the world’s best companies and Fortune’s Change the World list, WSP is driving social impact and commitment to ESG. WSP in the U.S. brings together engineers, planners, technical experts, strategic advisors and construction management professionals who are dedicated to collaborate in the best interests of serving local communities. WSP designs lasting solutions in the buildings, transportation, energy, water and environment markets. With approximately 14,000 employees in 300 offices across the U.S., WSP partners with its clients to help communities prosper. wsp.com