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NEWS Last modified on June 20, 2016

Work begins on Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta's capital improvement plan

Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport officials have begun work on ATLNext, the gateway's $6 billion capital improvement plan. 

Under the plan, a 20-year blueprint for growth, ATL will modernise its terminal, expand its cargo operations and concourses, replace its parking facilities and pave the way for a hotel and mixed-use development project.

One of the first projects in the plan is a six-week effort that will modernise the West Crossover, the escalator corridor linking the Airport’s Plane Train with the baggage claim areas.

As part of this project, last Thursday morning the airport retired the 'Spirit of Atlanta', the 70-foot-wide mural of children playing at Centennial Olympic Park.

A video screen providing important information to all passengers making their way up the escalator will replace the mural, which will be preserved in digital form.

Various representations of the image will be included in the video display, which will make certain the smiling children in the iconic exhibit will continue to welcome visitors to ATL.

“The ATLNext modernisation project will prepare our airport for the future,” says interim airport general manager, Roosevelt Council Jr.

“We’ll honour our past by ensuring the Spirit of Atlanta remains, in some form, to welcome our guests for years to come.”

The construction will require re-routing passengers, sometimes intermittently, from midnight to 5:30am Sundays through Thursdays for the next six weeks.

The airport says that 'guests' travelling during these early-morning hours will exit the Plane Train at Concourse T and make their way to baggage claim along a revised route.

Temporary wayfinding signage, along with guest service representatives, will be stationed at key locations to direct passengers. 

The construction project initially involves building and positioning scaffolding. Airport officials say additional early-morning closures may be required once the scaffolding is in place.

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