The first pieces of Terminal A came down Monday as officials broke ground on a new, $1.5 billion terminal at Kansas City International airport.
Kansas City Mayor Sly James delivered the first few blows to the old building before a crowd of hundreds.
He told the group that in 2023, when the new terminal is set to open, visitors will be greeted by a new Kansas City — one drastically different from when he entered office eight years ago.
“We used to be known as a city that would never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity. That is no longer the case,” James said.
When he entered office, James said, people weren’t as keen on the idea of a single terminal.
Back in 2013, James put together an advisory group to determine the airport’s future. In 2016, conversations about a single terminal were put on hold after polling showed little appetite for it among voters. Just a year later, Kansas City voters approved it in a landslide.
“I have had this remarkable vantage point to see what happens when we all figure out that we have a place to go and that when we work together we can get there better, more efficiently and quicker,” James said.
Earlier this month, the city council cleared the way for construction by approving a project agreement with developer Edgemoor.
Edgemoor Managing Director Geoff Stricker says people traveling in and out of Terminals B and C will see major demolition begin in four to six weeks.
“They’ll actually demo the inside first, and then you’ll start to see … the outside come down in sections and then the garage will come down as well,” Stricker said.
He added that since Terminal A isn’t in operation right now, travel in and out of Terminals B and C will not be interrupted.
Aviation Director Pat Klein says the demolition should take about four months.
In the meantime, design work for the project will move forward and Edgemoor will continue bidding out work to local contractors.
Klein says his department will continue to monitor the budget and make sure the project remains on schedule. The new terminal is set to open in 2023.
Lisa Rodriguez is a reporter and the afternoon newscaster for KCUR 89.3. Follow her on Twitter @larodrig.