Demolition getting underway at Bradley Terminal B

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TerminalB_001By The Airport News

Demolition of Bradley International Airport’s Terminal B is getting underway, 62 years after it opened and four years after its last flight left for Chicago.
When it closed it April 2010, it was the oldest operating airline terminal in the country. After American Airlines and Air Canada moved to Terminal A, it housed offices of the Transportation Security Administration and Connecticut State Police Troop W.
Troop W’s move to the new airport security building in mid-July and the TSA’s move to Terminal A in mid-August cleared the way for demolition to begin, said Kevin Dillon, executive director of the Connecticut Airport Authority.
The demolition contract was awarded to S & R Corp., of Lowell, Massachusetts, on July 30. S&R bid $12,572,622 for the project, which is expected to take 18 months.
“It was a very good bid,” Dillon said. “There will be other expenses allocated to the project … but we will be well below our $19 million budget,” he said.
The demolition project is beginning inside with the removal of hazardous substances, such as asbestos and lead. Some sections of the building might start to come down by the end of the year.
Other matters that preceded the go-ahead for demolition were the relocation of the airfield lighting vault, an agreement with the Connecticut Army National Guard to provide a holding area for international flight diversions, and an agreement with the owner of WFSB-TV to move its Doppler radar equipment to another site.
Relocation of the airfield lighting vault involved moving equipment and controls, rewiring lighting systems and cabling to the air traffic control tower, and installing new power feeds and emergency generators, according to Urban Engineers, a design firm based in Philadelphia.
The holding area for flight diversions is needed in case space is needed to house passengers of international flights that might be rerouted to Bradley temporarily. Dillon said the airport reached an understanding with the Guard and U.S. Customs to use the Army readiness center, if necessary.
At its August meeting, the Connecticut Airport Authority board of directors authorized Dillon to enter into an agreement with Meredith Corp., owner of WFSB, for leasing an airport site for its Doppler radar equipment. WFSB had planned to move its radar system from Terminal B to Avon Mountain, but those plans have hit a snag in Avon.
Terminal B, which opened in 1952, was first known as the Francis S. Murphy Terminal, named for the editor and publisher of The Hartford Times who was also.the chairman of the state aeronautics commission. He was referred to as the “father of Bradley Field.”
The demolition of the old terminal and the elevated road in front of it will make space for a new ground transportation center with a consolidated rental car facility, an enclosed connection to Terminal A, and more parking. A new Terminal B is contemplated, but is not likely until 2025, provided passenger traffic justifies it.

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