Gresham Smith-Designed SkyConnect Automated People Mover and Rental Car Center Receives ACEC Honor Award
Gresham Smith announces that Tampa International Airport’s (TPA) SkyConnect Automated People Mover (APM) and Rental Car Center project received an honor award from the American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC). The team was recognized at ACEC’s Awards Gala in Washington, D.C. The SkyConnect and Rental Car Center improve the passenger experience by creating greater connectivity, reducing congestion at the curbside and replacing outdated and undersized facilities.
“The SkyConnect and Rental Car Center are critical elements of our historic expansion and have helped us serve a growing number of passengers while allowing us to remain in our existing footprint and provide the same high level of passenger experience,” said Al Illustrato, TPA’s Executive Vice President of Facilities. “By moving our rental car operations a short train ride away, we have helped decongest our roadways, reduce emissions and accommodate millions more passengers annually.”
“We are thrilled that the TPA APM and Rental Car Center has been recognized on a national level and to share in this honor with the airport and our partners,” said Grant J. Clifford, RIBA, LEED AP, senior vice president, Gresham Smith. “The SkyConnect and Rental Car Center have succeeded in moving significant traffic away from the curbside which creates a better passenger experience.”
“Working together as an interdisciplinary team was critical to the success of this project,” commented Richard Temple, senior principal, Walter P Moore. “Developing efficient engineering solutions that took in account existing and future infrastructure and minimized interruptions to operations was challenging. We relied heavily on collaboration and technology to deliver this solution, which provides fast, safe, and sustainable transportation for passengers.”
The SkyConnect system includes 1.4 miles of guideway, which connects the Main Terminal to the brand-new, 2.6-million-square-foot Rental Car Center, as well as the Gresham Smith-designed Economy Parking Garage. Gresham Smith provided architecture, interior design, experiential design and wayfinding and structural engineering services for SkyConnect and the Rental Car Center, serving as lead designer for the overall program, architect of record for the APM stations and Maintenance Facility and structural engineer of record for a portion of the guideway and the Maintenance Facility. Walter P Moore was engineer of record for the portions of the APM guideway, Main Terminal APM Station and portions of the Rental Car Center; Master Consulting Engineers was the structural engineer of record for a portion of the guideway, APM Stations 2 and 3 and portions of the Rental Car Center; and Austin Commercial served as the main contractor. It also won the Project of the Year from the Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) Florida Gulf Coast Chapter as part of the 2019 Excellence in Construction Awards program.