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Fargo airport to share details of proposed parking lot skyway

The Airport Authority will host an open house Tuesday, Feb. 13, to share plans for a proposed skyway that would connect the Hector International Airport terminal to parking areas. David Samson / The Forum

FARGO – The Airport Authority plans to share details of its proposed elevated walkway, including architectural renderings providing details of what it will look like, at an open house Tuesday, Feb. 13, at Hector International Airport.

The authority board is scheduled to discuss the proposal at its regular meeting starting at 8 a.m. with the open house scheduled 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the boardroom on the terminal’s second floor, 2801 32nd Ave. N.

The skyway is meant to protect airport visitors from the elements as they walk to and from the short-term and long-term parking lots. It could eventually work as part of a parking ramp if the authority chooses to go that route.

Those attending the meeting Tuesday will get their parking passes validated if they park in either lot and bring stubs to the meeting.

Architect Terry Stroh said he’ll have 10 high-resolution renderings to show the skyway from different angles. These renderings are especially important because of the questions already raised about how the walkway from the parking lot would connect to the terminal, he said.

Because the skyway would enter the terminal on the second floor, some airport officials have asked how it would affect the advertising signs, which generate revenue for the airport, he said. They also have asked questions about how traffic would flow given that travelers would have to go down to the first floor to print boarding passes and check in luggage and then back up again to get to the gates, he said.

None of the renderings will show how the skyway would connect to any future parking ramp, but Stroh said he expects to do that eventually.

Some city officials, especially Mayor Tim Mahoney, have pressed the Airport Authority to build the parking ramp rather than just the skyway, but the authority has said they can’t afford it right now.

Airport consultants have estimated the skyway would cost $12 million to $13 million while a parking ramp would cost $22 million to $25 million. Ninety percent of the skyway would be eligible for federal funding, but parking is not eligible at all.