Reno-Tahoe International Begins Work On Major Project

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The sounds of jackhammers and tractors will soon add to the noise of jet engines at Reno-Tahoe International.

It's all part of a $60 million project designed to to ease traffic flow inside and outside of the terminal.

The roadway directly adjacent to the terminal that's typically used for drop-offs will be closed during construction. Ticket counters will be moved outside and underneath a tent.

Airport officials say this construction might cause some delays for the next 22 months, but they're confident it will benefit everyone in the long run.

"The gates backup as they try to funnel people through the security lines into the gates," says John Lavery, who's flying out of Las Vegas.

Frequent flyers say this major construction project at Reno-Tahoe International couldn't come soon enough.

An airport spokeswoman says most of the congestion is caused by detection systems, which take up an estimated 35 percent of the ticketing area.

"The lobby is very congested with those screening machines," says Trish Tucker, an airport spokeswoman. "And there are other airports across the country with screening machines behind the ticket counters. We just want to move forward so it's less congested."

But some travelers say the airport is fine the way it is.

"There are no trolleys or trains," says Dina Hendricks from Reno. "I think it's great. I love this airport."

"It's worked well for me," says Bonnie Casey from Truckee. "I fly all over the country and it's one of the easiest airports to get in and out of."

The first day of major construction came and went without any significant problems, but airport officials expect that will change when traffic increases during spring break.

Even so, travelers say they're willing to make sacrifices to make sure the job gets done.

"Anything to speed that process up.," says Lavery. "I come up here 12 times a month. Anything that speeds it up I'm in favor of."

"It's always been a problem," says Joe Fabian. "And I think once the construction is done, it'll be better for everyone in the end."