Traffic 'ambassadors' helping ease RDU parking 'mess'

EMBED </>More Videos

Parking at RDU remains a mess.

We all know it's smart to call ahead to check your flight status before heading out for the airport. But if you're flying out of RDU - at least for the time being - it's just as smart to check your parking status.

Stay on top of breaking news stories with the ABC11 News App

"It's a mess," said Lane West, heading home to Pinehurst. A frequent traveler, West has watched renovations on the parking decks between the airport's two main terminals for months now. And he says it's been a pain to navigate from the beginning.

"It's a challenge," West said. "You really don't know what's going to be closed and what's going to be open. They tell you but then when you get there, sometimes it's not what they say it is."

According to airport officials, at any given time, a little more than 10 percent of the airport's 11,000 parking spaces are out of commission. On busy days, that means the lot fills up and cars are diverted to a long-term Park & Ride lot.

To help make things a little easier on drivers, RDU is employing a small army of "parking ambassadors." One mother from Cary, at the airport to pick up her grandparents, said she was lost until she saw a worker directing traffic. "We came up and had to have a parking attendant show us to another level," she said, "because we didn't know where we were going."

"You kind of know that you're going to expect something," said West. "But you really don't know what it's going to be from week to week."

The parking renovations are just one part of a broader, five-year overhaul. Phase 2 of the project targets elevator repairs. Airport spokesman Andrew Sawyer said this phase of the project is about 70 percent complete and should be finished on time and on budget.

Among the key project specs for Phase 1:
  • Start date: late April 2017

  • Expected completion date: Thanksgiving 2017

  • Cost: $4.5 million

  • Improvements: restriping, repainting, repairing cracks and joints, replacing pipes

RELATED: Find out more information about the project.
Related Topics:
travelRDUparkingraleigh newsRDUWake County
(Copyright ©2018 WTVD-TV. All Rights Reserved.)