The new PIT terminal reached a milestone in February as workers began vertical construction on the new Multi-Modal Complex (MMC) that will be one of the largest parking garages in Western Pennsylvania. (Photo by Beth Hollerich)

Concrete walls are rising on what will be one of the largest parking garages in Western Pennsylvania at Pittsburgh International Airport.

At the end of February, crews began installing the first precast concrete elements of the new Multi-Modal Complex (MMC).

A vital part of PIT’s Terminal Modernization Program, the MMC will benefit passengers by reducing the walking time from curb to gate.

“We are excited to see the MMC go vertical,” said Rick Lee, implementation manager for the new terminal project. “Lots of energy has been put forth in the foundations and the coordination of the many components that comprise the MMC.”

In all, more than 3,000 concrete pieces are being fabricated for the garage structure at Sidley Precast, a manufacturer of architectural and structural concrete components located in Youngwood, Pennsylvania, and Thompson, Ohio.

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Benefits of Precast

Quality control is one of the most significant benefits of using precast elements, said Bill Macedo, vice president of Turner Construction, which is leading the project. “The panels are being cast in an environmentally controlled plant, so they’re not subject to the weather. If you’re casting it in place on the job site, you’re subject to the environmental conditions,” he said.

A regulated testing environment also eliminates the potential for weather delays, helping keep the project on schedule.

More than functional

In addition to forming the outer walls of the parking garage, the exterior panels serve as integrated art inspired by the region’s topography

Adam Kuby, the artist for the parking garage spandrel panels, has been working closely with the team on his design, titled “Cross Currents.” Kuby’s design mirrors his art featured on the Mechanically Stabilized Earth walls, retaining wall panels visible from the roadways for PIT’s new terminal. Grid patterns create continuous bands of light and dark, materializing and dissipating to create a sense of movement and living animation.

When the facility opens to the public in 2025, it will include a time-saving parking guidance system, improved signage, a rental car customer service building, more covered parking and easy access to the new terminal. But for now, simply seeing the building rise from the ground is an important first step.

“We’re excited that the vertical element of the garage is finally starting. It’s been long anticipated,” Macedo said.