Pacific Northwest iron and steel workers placed the last, highest beam on top of the new Concourse E extension Thursday at Portland International Airport. A small crowd applauded as the beam was fastened in place.
“This is an important moment for us. We’re celebrating a lot of highly-skilled people who work in dangerous conditions every day,” said Ryan Richards, Senior Project Manager at Skanska. “It’s great to take this moment and be thankful everyone has stayed safe.”
Before the 29-foot steel I-Beam was set in place, with a five-foot Oregon Douglas fir tree and a U.S. flag on top, guests had an opportunity to view an illustration in honor of the workers. The artwork shows an iron worker gazing out at Mount Hood, along with the text “PDXPeople. PDXStrong. PDXNext.”
The crane operator then lifted the beam, and two members of the Local 29 Ironworkers Union received it and set it in place.
Raising a beam with a tree is a construction tradition that celebrates the topping-off of a building – a sign that a construction project has reached its peak – and a moment to appreciate the good fortune and safety of the workers.
The 830-foot concourse extension will give travelers six new comfortable gates when it opens in June 2020. Southwest Airlines will move into the new space. The Concourse E extension will provide travelers and employees more comfortable places to sit, 10 new local restaurants and shops with the same prices as in the city, more places to charge laptops and cell phones, and great views of Mount Hood and the Columbia River.
The Concourse E extension is part of PDXNext, a series of five large construction projects underway at the airport and the first new terminal construction at PDX in 20 years. PDXNext is a $2 billion investment in the convenience, comfort and uniquely PDX experience for travelers, airlines and employees now and into the future.
Source: Portland International Airport