What’s New with PDX Next (Updated March 18)

Something to Smile about in March

PDX construction 101

You’ve likely noticed changes and construction as you go about your work, including the fact that we’ve removed the ceiling pre-security. Don’t worry: This “industrial chic” aesthetic is only temporary as we gear up to build a new roof over the airport…and that’s only part of what we have in the works!

If you’re reading these PDX Next updates, are subscribed to our weekly PDX People newsletter and keep an eye on the digital signage, you’re already in the know, but may still have a few questions. Or maybe you just need a great resource to share with curious passengers. With that in mind, we put together this helpful guide to the major milestones of PDX Next projects, including the new main terminal, Concourse B and flexible transportation upgrades. 

Sneak Peak at Artist RYAN! Feddersen’s Upcoming Concourse B Installation

When you step into the bigger and brighter Concourse B, set to open in summer 2021, the new artwork will probably catch a glimpse of you before you realize it’s gazing back. You’ll see it in the engraved steel portraits of some of Oregon’s most scenic places — a large graphic eye gradually appears in each landscape as you pass.

The optical illusion — technically known as a lenticular portrait — makes you not only pause to look at the art, but physically move around the space and change your vantage to see every dimension of it. Above is a sneak preview of a mock up of her upcoming installation. Read the full conversation with RYAN! and learn what inspires her and how the intersection of art and its audience influences her work.

Construction Impacts to Expect

For your safety, do not enter construction areas. To avoid serious injury, never cross a construction rope, barricade or fence to enter a construction site. We don’t want you to get hurt!

To help you plan for what’s ahead, we’re listing construction impacts in order by date. These updates are posted once a month, but information is constantly evolving – you’re encouraged to check back periodically to see what’s new, noted in red.

*NEW* Concourse B Roof Work Impacts

Have you experienced some unpleasant odors in baggage claim and other areas around PDX? These are related to the Concourse B roofing work which involves using tar.

The odors are intermittent because roof work is done only on dry days and the wind will carry the smells if it is blowing towards the terminal. We have investigated and tested the air quality, and it is within normal limits. We know this is challenging, to help reduce the odors we adjusted HVAC system. Weather permitting, we expect the work to be fully complete in mid-May.

*New* Clocktower Plaza Closure Temporarily Delayed

While the major impacts of construction planned for Clocktower Plaza are delayed by a week, you may still have noticed some changes.

On Monday, April 5 a temporary barrier went up to block off the center of the area, allowing for certain work to begin and for some concessionaires to move out as planned. The good news? Elephants Deli and Your Northwest Travel Mart will stay open in their current locations until the new Clocktower Plaza closure date, at which point their new pre-security locations will open. As a reminder, Portland Roasting continues to operate as usual.

We expect the full closure of Clocktower Plaza to take place in the evening on Monday, April 12 – that’s when you’ll see the old paths between the ticket lobby and security lanes close and new paths open.

We will update this space with more information as it comes available. Keep an eye on the PDX People website, sign up for our weekly PDX People newsletters and watch the digital signage in the bypass areas. That’s where we’ll post the most up-to-date information on closures, route changes and – perhaps most important – where to find food and drinks pre-security.

*NEW* Main Terminal Soft Demolition Begins Soon

The highlighted area shows where the work will take place as we expand the main terminal. 

To bring the new main terminal design to life, construction crews will start soft demolition on Clocktower Plaza. If you haven’t heard of soft demolition before, it’s the technical term for deconstructing a building without removing any major structural components.

That means it’s going to be loud in the ticket lobby and in the security lines at PDX for the rest of 2021. We know it isn’t going to be easy to work in this environment, and we’ll be here to support you through it – including bringing more details your way next week.

Restroom Renovations and Temporary Closures

The public restrooms on the pre-security side of the B/C checkpoint are closed for the next few months. This is due to anticipated congestion in the area as a result of construction.

The closest pre-security restrooms on the south side are downstairs in baggage claim. The public restrooms by the D/E checkpoint are also open and the restrooms in the food court will remain open until Monday, April 5.

The all-user restroom on Concourse C is currently closed. The closest men’s and women’s restrooms are near Gate C9 and the B/C checkpoint. However, if a traveler needs an all-user restroom, you’ll see a sign (shown below) with phone numbers to call so they can get an escort to an alternative location.

Finally, the restroom between Gates C3 and C5 is now closed for renovation, part of an effort to update and upgrade all restrooms at PDX. This restroom will reopen on Monday, Aug. 2.

Get the Latest PDX Next News in 30 Minutes

Want the inside scoop on construction at PDX? Jen Reynolds with the Port of Portland along with Pat Bifone and Caitlin Powell of Hoffman-Skanska will share the latest construction updates and answer your questions about PDX Next in just 30 minutes. They’ll even give you an early look at architectural renderings and share some behind-the-scenes photos and videos!

Grab a cup of coffee on the last Tuesday of every month and join us to learn how we’re bringing new airport designs to life together. The next update is scheduled for Tuesday, April 27 at 10:30 a.m. Use this link to access the meeting on April 27.

Project Milestones

Concourse Connector Made Its Move

Remember when we told you the beloved Concourse Connector would be split in half and repurposed to create two new bypasses for employees and passengers to get safely around the main terminal construction?

These photos show the start of that process, as the Concourse Connector begins its second life. In these photos you can see the Connector being divided into sections and specialized moving vehicles transporting those parts to their new homes.

Concourse B Tops Out

With all the construction for the Concourse E extension and the flexible transportation hub, you’ve probably heard about “topping out” ceremonies a few times by now. But in case you missed it, it’s an old Scandinavian tradition designed to appease tree-dwelling spirits displaced during construction and celebrates the milestone of the last (“topmost”) piece of structural steel being placed on a project. That’s exactly what happened last week on Concourse B – look for the pine tree and American flag used to mark the spot.


Have questions or suggestions about the construction happening at PDX? Email hello@pdxnext.com.