Pittsburgh Goes International

by James A. Moorcroft, (M.ASCE), Asst. Vice Pres.; Michael Baker Jr., Inc., Pittsburgh, PA,

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1993, Vol. 63, Issue 1, Pg. 44-47

Document Type: Feature article


The size of the new $785 million Pittsburgh International Airport�900 developed acres�is twice the size of the city's Golden Triangle business district but occupies only a portion of the 12,000 acres that Allegheny County commissioners had amassed by the end of the 1960s. As a design target, the airport never stopped moving. Only the opening date�Oct. 1, 1992�and four existing runways remained unchanged after the basic design was completed in 1987. In the next five years, the project grew by more than $200 million. The design is based on three ideas: 1) the existing runways need not be replaced; 2) airside and landside terminal facilities should be close to the runways; and 3) the most efficient airside configuration would be an X surrounded by aprons and taxilanes. The terminal buildings�precast concrete structures topped by steel barrel vaults and linked by tunnels�were preceded by 18 million cu yd of excavation that leveled terrain that varied 120 ft in elevation. In addition to more than 2 million sq ft of buildings and a new control tower, there are more than 19,000 new parking spaces, 1.1 million sq yd of new concrete taxiways and aprons, 17 bridges, 8 tunnels, a 42 ft high dam for stormwater management, and an 8 million gal. fuel farm and hydrant fueling system.

Subject Headings: Airport and airfield pavements | Stormwater management | Steel structures | Fuels | Concrete structures | Concrete dams | Bridge towers | Pittsburgh | Pennsylvania | United States

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