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Norman Y. Mineta San Jose International Airport Interim Facility

Interim airport meets immediate needs with forward-thinking solutions for future growth

Project Facts

Owner City of San Jose
Size 34,000 SF
Cost $35 million
Status Completed 2019


San Jose International Airport has grown significantly over the past decade. In 2019, the airport served 15.7m passengers, a 90% increase since opening Terminal B in 2010. The airport’s master plan calls for the addition of 14 gates to Terminal B, but operators needed additional capacity long before a project of that scale could be completed. The solution was to construct an interim facility to meet immediate needs while continuing to plan for the permanent expansion.

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About the project

The team had to fit the interim facility on a sliver of land between an operational airfield and critical parking lot. We had to consider space needed for construction of the interim facility, construction of the Terminal B expansion and the eventual deconstruction of the interim facility. All of which would need to occur with minimal disruption to airport operations. In response, Walter P Moore not only designed the foundation of the interim facility to avoid relocating existing utilities wherever possible, but also to avoid conflicting with the future terminal expansion.

One example of this future-minded approach is our solution to providing restrooms in the interim facility. Due to the limited width of the terminal, the holdroom was far too narrow to accommodate restrooms, so the team created three low-rise restroom “pods” which pop out of the side of the holdroom and will nest between the columns of the future terminal expansion. This will allow the future terminal to be constructed around and over the restroom pods while the interim holdroom and gates remain fully functional. We incorporated the footings for six future columns into our design as the area needed to construct them would not be accessible without demolishing the restrooms.

The airport’s schedule allowed only 11 months for design and construction as the new gates needed to be fully functional for the busy summer travel season. In response, Walter P Moore suggested adding our construction engineering group to the team. By utilizing their ability to develop a 3D model of the foundation rebar during design, we eliminated the need for rebar shop drawings, shaved 3 weeks off the design schedule and also avoided delays due to rebar-related conflicts in the field.

The project’s aggressive schedule allowed only three months for steel erection. Walter P Moore worked closely with the steel contractor to optimize steel erection, including making the framing highly repetitive, designing shop fabricated sub-assemblies, and eliminating field welding wherever possible. We also recommended using field bolted SidePlate moment frames for the seismic system. The combination of early collaboration, erection optimization and use of the SidePlate system allowed the team to complete steel erection in only five weeks.

Walter P Moore’s efforts saved the design build team a total of 10 weeks on what was a lightning-fast schedule. The five gates originally planned for the facility opened in time for the 2019 summer travel season with a sixth being fully functional in time for Thanksgiving. The City of San Jose and the Norman Y. Mineta San Jose International Airport were extremely pleased with our team’s efforts, as were our construction partners.