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PDX workers mark top of Concourse E extension

PDX Workers mark top of Concourse E
Pacific Northwest iron and steel workers placed the last, highest beam on top of the new Concourse E extension this morning at Portland International Airport. A small crowd applauded as the beam was fastened in place.

“This is an important moment for us. We’re celebrating a lot of highly-skilled people who work in dangerous conditions every day,” said Ryan Richards, Senior Project Manager at Skanska. “It’s great to take this moment and be thankful everyone has stayed safe.”

Before the 29-foot steel I-Beam was set in place, with a five-foot Oregon Douglas fir tree and a U.S. flag on top, guests had an opportunity to view an illustration in honor of the workers. The artwork shows an iron worker gazing out at Mount Hood, along with the text “PDXPeople. PDXStrong. PDXNext.”

The crane operator then lifted the beam, and two members of the Local 29 Ironworkers Union received it and set it in place.

Raising a beam with a tree is a construction tradition that celebrates the topping-off of a building – a sign that a construction project has reached its peak – and a moment to appreciate the good fortune and safety of the workers.

The 830-foot concourse extension will give travelers six new comfortable gates when it opens in June 2020. Southwest Airlines will move into the new space. The Concourse E extension will provide travelers and employees more comfortable places to sit, 10 new local restaurants and shops with the same prices as in the city, more places to charge laptops and cell phones, and great views of Mount Hood and the Columbia River.

The Concourse E extension is part of PDXNext, a series of five large construction projects underway at the airport and the first new terminal construction at PDX in 20 years. PDXNext is a $2 billion investment in the convenience, comfort and uniquely PDX experience for travelers, airlines and employees now and into the future.

About our partners:

  • Skanska is the general contractor managing the 148,000 square feet, nearly 830-foot-long two-story expansion of Concourse E, including the addition of six additional gates. The scope also includes airside site work, modifications to baggage handling systems and various renovations within the existing terminal.
  • Hennebery Eddy Architects is a Portland-based architectural, interior design and planning firm with a specialty focus in historic resources and a net-positive approach to design.
  • Fentress Architects is a global design firm that passionately pursues the creation of sustainable and iconic architecture. Together, with clients, they create inspired design to improve the human environment.

Hennebery Eddy Architects and Fentress Architects collaborated on the design of the Concourse E extension, which features a sweeping window wall that washes the interior spaces with daylight and views of Mount Hood and includes improvements to existing facilities.


For more information about the PDXNext Program, visit, or contact Katie Meeker or 503-415-6450. Follow #PDXPeople #PDXNext


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