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 | Concrete structures | Steel structures | Bridge towers | Concrete dams | Stormwater management | Fuels | Business districts | Pittsburgh | Pennsylvania | United States

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