GREER, S.C. (WSPA) – GSP is working on an $18-million project that will eventually reduce congestion, but it’s expected to create delays ahead of the holiday travel season.
“It’s just way more busy, just so crowded,” said Kimmi Warga, a frequent flier at GSP. “Flights are always going out full, leaving some people behind… it’s made it really tough.”
But the temporary chaos is a sacrifice for a permanent solution, according to officials. They said by the end, GSP airport will have expanded curbside roadways, roundabouts and intersections. But within the next few weeks, all flyers getting dropped-off and picked-up will encounter a new traffic route.
“Starting mid-November how you approach the airport will change a little bit,” said Tiffany Cherry, communications manager at GSP airport. “If you’re coming from I-85 instead of going straight to the terminal, you’ll make a right which will lead you to the new extension up into the airport terminal for passenger drop off and pick up.”
The airport said they’ve seen their number of travelers skyrocket in the past few years. They’ve also added a new airline and have been welcoming bigger jets to their airport. This project is necessary, they said, to accommodate for all of this.
“It’s unfortunate it’s right here at the holidays for sure but growing pains, we got to fix them,” said Warga.
In the meantime, GSP is pushing travelers to adjust.
“Just give yourself extra time, especially around the holidays, especially to accommodate for some of the new changes as you arrive at the airport,” said Cherry.
On December 5, the roadway directly in front of the terminal will shut down, as the closest lanes are widened from three to four. Access to parking garages will remain the same, but pedestrian walkways will be detoured around construction.
“It is a zoo, the traffic is ridiculous and people are stopping their cars and not letting other people pass so it’s a real bad traffic jam so it’ll be nice to get this taken care of for sure,” said Warga.
GSP said they know the changes are coming at the busiest time of year, so they’re creating an additional and permanent TSA lane to help. They said it’ll be open before the holidays and hope it can help alleviate some stress.
GSP said another one of their biggest tips ahead of the holidays is for anyone picking up travelers at the airport, to park in the cell phone lot to avoid traffic jams at the front entrance.