ORLANDO, Fla. – If you fly in or out of Orlando International Airport’s new $2.8 billion Terminal C and you have to trek to or from the old terminals A and B, a new pedestrian bridge should make your long walk significantly smoother.
On Monday, the Orlando International Airport announced a $69 million federal grant to fund up to eight new gates at the newly-completed Terminal C as well as the new enclosed walkway.
Passengers with lots of luggage or strollers will appreciate the walkway.
Rental car pickup, except for Sixt, is still not available in Terminal C, so most rental car customers must pick up their vehicle in Terminal B.
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That trek involves escalators, long corridors, a tram ride, and a traverse through the open-air parking garage at Terminal C.
The garage connects the tram station to the terminal, so it’s currently the only way to walk from the new terminal to the old ones and vice versa.
The concrete garage had to of course be built with expansion joints. But the joints between the concrete slabs are not suitcase, nor luggage-cart-friendly.
On Monday afternoon Kay, from Trinidad, struggled to push her cart piled high with suitcases over the expansion joints while at the same time leading her young boys by the hand.
“It just gets stuck there and everything falls off,” Kay said. “This is the second time my suitcase fell off the cart, the second time. Because of those little rubber expansions.”
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On Monday morning Kevin Thibault, who took over as MCO’s CEO a little more than a year ago, announced the $69 million federal grant to fully fund the enclosed walkway, alongside U.S. Rep. Darren Soto, D-Kissimmee.
“This wall of glass behind me will go away, this will become a short pedestrian bridge, a walkway that connects this train station to Terminal C,” Thibault said.
MCO intended on adding the pedestrian walkway originally during construction of Terminal C but deleted it due to budget cuts during the pandemic. Concrete columns with rebar protruding, which will form the base of the bridge, are visible between the train station and Terminal C. Eventually rental car counters will line the walls of the bridge.
Thibault said the pedestrian bridge is in the procurement process and will begin construction as soon as this summer. Completion is expected within 15-18 months.
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