PIT ‘Tops Off’ New Parking Garage, Among the State’s Largest

Crews celebrate another milestone toward 2025 opening; ‘I built that’

By Rocco Pacell

Published April 29, 2024

Read Time: 3 mins


When it comes to airports, many travelers voice a similar complaint: lousy parking. Too far from the terminal, too congested, not enough protection from the elements.

On Monday, however, parking at Pittsburgh International Airport was a cause for celebration.

A crowd turned out to cheer the new parking garage that is part of PIT’s extensive modernization program. The ceremony is known as a topping out—a construction insider term for the placement of a building’s highest piece of pre-cast concrete—where both the structure and the people who built it are celebrated.

“An airport is not just an airport, it is a gateway to a region – the region’s front door,” said Paul Hoback, PIT’s executive vice president and chief development officer, addressing construction site workers and airport employees gathered to commemorate yet another milestone as the project draws closer to its opening in 2025.

“This massive structure that we celebrate today is not just a parking garage, it is the start of a family vacation, it is the start of a career-defining business trip, it is the start of a honeymoon or a reunion.”

Joining the hundreds in attendance were representatives from project manager Turner Construction, airport parking partner LAZ Parking, and Adam Kuby, the artist whose work adorns the new airport parking structure and roadway elements.

“It’s a different experience, seeing it all come together on a job of this magnitude and this size,” said Logan Mulholland, a carpentry foreman with Pittsburgh-based Rycon Construction.

It took months to safely place the 3,002 pre-cast concrete pieces that make up the structure. The tradespeople celebrating the topping out said they shared a true sense of accomplishment.

“It’s been a long time coming. I’ve been here for a year,” said James Proctor, another Rycon Construction carpenter who worked on the garage. “I’ve seen almost every piece of it go up, so it was good to see them finally finish it, and it’s going to be nice to tell my kids that I had something to do with this.”

The Future of Parking

The five-level structure is among the largest of its kind in Western Pennsylvania, measuring over 1.1 million square feet and offering approximately 4,300 total parking spaces, with around 2,400 under ceiling cover.

The garage will triple the amount of covered parking spaces at PIT and is being built adjacent to the airport’s new terminal, decreasing walking distances between buildings, both inside the customer service building or outside through a calming, open green space.

The facility will also feature electric car charging stations, rental car spaces, a ground transportation center, transit connections, four elevators, and curbside pickup and drop-off for ridesharing services.

What sets the new PIT parking garage apart is its emphasis on sustainability, safety and efficiency. This is most apparent through the structure’s anticipated Parksmart Bronze certification—think LEED but for parking garages—and its focus on modern technology.

The new garage will feature a parking guidance system, allowing visitors to identify open spaces through use of digital displays and indicator lights.

It will also have a state-of-the-art Fixed Automated Spray Technology (FAST) de-icing system on entrance and exit ramps. Snow accumulation will be alleviated via a specialized system that uses snow collected from the garage to create an environmentally safe melting spray.

The airport modernization features a new terminal, parking garage, green spaces, customer service annex and other amenities and improvement.

The entire project has created about 14,300 jobs. But beyond the jobs and $2.5 billion in economic activity, there is a legacy being built for the region, its workforce and PIT’s future.

“It’s something that people from around the world are going to be able to come and see,” said Dorothy Wright, a heavy equipment operator with Pittsburgh firm Costa Contracting, who has worked on the parking structure for nearly two years.

“Whenever I have to fly somewhere, I can come and park in the parking garage and say, ‘I built that.’”

Go to Top