By Curt Yeomans
The Consolidated Rental Car (CONRAC) project, which is currently under construction at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, is designed to bring all of the rental car agencies together while reducing traffic congestion at the airport.
In addition to the CONRAC facility, an Automated People Mover (APM) and a new roadway, called CONRAC Parkway, are under construction. The people mover will transport conventioneers from the airport to the Georgia International Convention Center in College Park, and to the CONRAC facility.
CONRAC Parkway will connect the airport's Terminal Parkway and Roosevelt Highway, which is on the other side of Interstate 85.
"The long lines drivers experience returning rental cars on the North Terminal roadway will be a thing of the past," said Dan Molloy, the airport's assistant general manager for capital improvement. "CONRAC and all its associated facilities, including CONRAC Parkway and the Automated People Mover train system, will dramatically improve the level of service rental car customers experience at the airport.
"Arriving and departing passengers will also see improved levels of service with better access to and from the terminal."
Construction on CONRAC Parkway is resulting in temporary changes on I-85, which are scheduled to last until an overpass is completed in September.
On May 2, construction workers began erecting the parkway's support beams in the median of I-85's northbound and southbound lanes, just north of the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA) south yard maintenance facility and the Riverdale Road exit.
The construction work has resulted in lane changes, as traffic moving in both directions is adjusted to give workers room to build the support column. After the column is erected, construction crews will begin to lay horizontal beams across the interstate.
Airport officials warn that traffic will have to be slowed down, and sometimes stopped on I-85, once the workers begin to put the horizontal beams in place.
Construction on the entire CONRAC project is scheduled to be completed in November 2009, said Albert Snedeker, a spokesman for the airport's capital improvement projects department.
He said 10 car rental agencies have already signed up to be housed in the CONRAC facility, and another two agencies are negotiating contracts to be located in the facility as well.