Portland/ Transportation & Infrastructure
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Published on February 29, 2024
Portland International Airport's Main Terminal Opening Delayed Due to Safety ConcernsSource: Google Street View

Travelers anticipating the debut of Portland International Airport's revamped main terminal will have to wait a little longer as safety concerns prompt a delay in its opening. The Port of Portland has decided to push back the timeline following a halt in construction after a series of "close calls" on the work site that led to a safety review, as reported by OregonLive.

The pause in activity, which included shutting down the site over the weekend and Monday, was confirmed by Port spokesperson Allison Ferré, who didn't provide specifics on the incidents but emphasized the local construction team's "exceptional safety record", noting, "any incident would be a reason to slow down." Construction originally started in 2021 with hopes the main terminal, replete with a massive wooden roof made from Pacific Northwest timber, would welcome travelers by May of this year, but with unforeseen safety issues cropping up the port and its contractor Hoffman Skanska are forced to reassess schedules, with a new anticipated completion date tentatively set for late March, KGW reported.

In a move prioritizing laborers' well-being over deadlines, Vince Granato, the port's chief projects officer, said in a statement obtained by KGW, "Safety is our guiding principle at the Port of Portland, so we're extending the PDX construction timeline to ensure that the over 900 local craftspeople working at the airport every day know their safety comes before schedule." He continued to underscore there were no injuries, but with a couple of close calls recently it was crucial to give the team a reprieve to rest and refocus.

The delay decision underscores an ongoing commitment to safety that has been echoed by the port throughout the project, the importance of which was reinforced as the construction team undertook a "bottoms-up" review of operations, a process spelled out in Granato's complete statement featured by KOIN. While the new opening date remains under wraps, officials are adamant about maintaining their safety-first creed, assuring an updated timeline will be communicated as soon as it's crafted for the public's future travels and the region's infrastructural promise.

Portland-Transportation & Infrastructure