At Houston Intercontinental Airport the Houston Aviation Department is in the midst of rebuilding John F. Kennedy Boulevard from the intersection of Greens Road, north to the Will Clayton interchange. The $16 million capital improvements project — partially funded by a grant from the Federal Aviation Administration — is part of the city’s ongoing effort to meet future growth demands at the nation’s 19th busiest airport over the next decade.
“The importance of vehicle access cannot be overlooked if airport growth is to be handled in a convenient manner,” said City Aviation Director Paul B. Gaines.

An Estimated 44,000 vehicles per day use JFK for access to Intercontinental. Approximately 15,000 employees work at the airport. The road improvements arc included in IAH’s master plan — updated in 1983 — in anticipation of an increase in passenger volume. According to a 1989 FAA Aviation Forecast, passenger traffic at the Intercontinental, Hobby and Ellington will surpass 30 million annually by the year 2000. Last year, almost 26 million people flew out of Houston airports. Figures compiled by the Department of Aviation Planning Division, predicts InterContinental’s domestic scheduled air service will exceed 20 million passengers per year by the end of the century.

The reconstruction of JFK will be completed in six phases and will involve a number of improvements. The north and south bound lanes will close alternately in the late part of the summer, and traffic will be diverted to the service roads as the main lanes are rebuilt and overpasses are put in. An overlay of concrete six inches thick will cover areas of aging pavement constructed in 1968, and the curve near the Will Clayton interchange will be straightened. Additionally, the entrance to the economy parking lot at Greens Road will be reconfigured with a new entrance and exit on the north side. All cross-overs on JFK, except one, will be eliminated with an underpass constructed midway between Greens Road and the terminal area and an elevated U-turn on the north end.

‘Traffic entering airport properly on JFK Boulevard will be able to go straight to the terminals without having to worry about crossing traffic,” said Reza Nabizadeh, construction manager. When the rehabilitation is completed in June, 1993 — JFK will resemble a freeway — with ingresses, egresses and one-way service roads. Nabizadeh says all the changes will result in a safer, more efficient flow of traffic at the airport. With construction already in the third phase, traffic has barely been affected. Vehicles are required to drop speed from 50 mph to 25 mph through two temporary detours, but overall traffic has not been impeded and airport officials say travelers need not worry about missing their planes because of the construction.

Airport Corridor Beautification Project

by Michael Richmond, Chairman of the Board, North Houston Association

One of the key goals of Mayor Bob Lanier’s administration is to beautify the city. To accomplish this, Elyse Lanier has assumed the role of Chairperson of the Houston Beautiful Campaign. One of the first areas targeted for beautification are the entries to Houston Intercontinental Airport. This is particularly appropriate since our great city will be host to the Urban Land Institute meeting in May, the National Conferences of Mayors in June, and the Republican National Convention in August. These are all high profile meetings and many prominent people will obtain their first impression of Houston when they arrive at the airport and drive to their hotel accommodations.

With Elyse’s support, the Aviation Department and the North Houston Association are joining together to try to make a visual impact on these special guests. The Aviation Department is diligently working to landscape key areas of the airport, including the important Greens Road/JFK Boulevard intersection. Several property owners are also joining in. However, we need your financial help to, at a minimum, improve the southern portion of the median of this intersection. We estimate it will cost $40,000. Friendswood Development Company and the Woodlands Corporation have kicked off the fund raising efforts by contributing $5,000 each, plus additional in-kind services. Please help us in this important project and thank you in advance for your support.