A traditional topping out ceremony has taken place at Pittsburgh International Airport’s new terminal, with a number of those involved signing a steel beam.

The ceremony saw project workers, airport employees, community leaders and business partners etch their names onto what will be one of the uppermost steel beams placed on top of the new terminal.

“This project is a manifestation of our mission, and it is being created by and for the people living in western Pennsylvania with an emphasis on the nature, technology and community of the region,” said Christina Cassotis, CEO of the Allegheny County Airport Authority, which operates and manages Pittsburgh International Airport.

As part of its Terminal Modernization Program, PIT is building a new landside terminal, parking facility, and new airport roadway system. The project will deliver a faster, more efficient experience for passengers, while providing a more sustainable and adaptable airport.

Construction of the building’s roof began last month. The steel beam signed by project participants will be placed atop the structure this summer, when the project nears the 50% complete mark. Each employee, both within the airport and on the construction project, received the opportunity to write their name on the final steel beam and leave their mark on the project of choice in the region.

The piece of steel employees signed was fabricated just a few miles from the airport by Sippel Steel in Ambridge, Pennsylvania. The precast concrete and exterior glass also come from the region.

Cassotis said the project is truly built for Pittsburgh and by Pittsburgh, with around 85% of onsite workers coming from the western Pennsylvania region.

“The new terminal will go further for our community and our passengers to create an innovative and welcoming experience for everyone who walks through here. I thank our airline partners and our community, particularly our elected leaders, for their support to make the idea of a new terminal at PIT a reality,” Cassotis added.


What’s next?
Once the steel beam has been placed, large metal girders will continue to be positioned on the front bridge that will connect the updated roadway system to the new terminal. Concrete pours and weather preparations will follow.

Precast concrete for the parking facility is coming together quickly, crews having recently placed the first set of stairs. Workers will continue positioning high roof steel on the new terminal, and the connector bridge that marries the new terminal to the existing airside terminal is now being placed.

PIT’s new terminal is expected to open in 2025.

Image: Eugene Walker, heavy equipment operator for the Allegheny County Airport Authority, signs the final steel beam for the airport's new terminal structure (Beth Hollerich/ Pittsburgh International Airport)