Celebrating Pacific Northwest Iron and Steel Workers at PDX

We marked a significant milestone last month as Pacific Northwest iron and steel workers placed the last, highest beam on top of our new Portland International Airport Concourse E extension.

To celebrate and honor the achievement and safety of workers, the 29-foot, steel I-beam featured custom artwork of an iron worker gazing out at Mount Hood, along with the text “PDXPeople. PDXStrong. PDXNext.”

A crane operator lifted the beam, topped with a U.S. flag and a five-foot Oregon Douglas fir tree, and two members of the Ironworkers Local 29 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 workers.

The concourse extension is part of PDXNext, a series of five large construction projects underway at the airport and the first construction on the PDX terminal 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.

Opening in summer 2020, the 830-foot concourse extension creates six new comfortable gates for Southwest Airlines. Travelers and employees can look forward to more comfortable places to sit (with more places to charge laptops and cell phones), 10 new local restaurants and shops with the same prices as in the city, and a great view of Mount Hood.