NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) -- The new year will bring a lot of changes inside Charleston International Airport, officials said Monday, adding that the changes will require people change how they move through the airport over the next year.
"This will be very different for our passengers, but it is a temporary inconvenience for long-term improvement of the airport," said John Connell, the deputy director for engineering and planning for the Charleston County Aviation Authority.
The airport's $189 million redevelopment program started this year, but most of that work has been focused outside the building. That will change in 2014.
"We plan to make it easy to navigate the terminal while it is under construction. Our black and yellow way finding signs will help," Connell said.
According to officials, the central atrium and hallway leading to Concourse A will be closed and a new walkway near baggage claim will give travelers access to Concourses A and B. Restrooms near the checkpoint at Concourse A will also close, but those on Concourse B will stay open. Hudson News will merge with the Discover Charleston shop
Also, four of the eight traffic lanes in front of the terminal building will close for demolition, officials said.
"Since all the traffic coming to and leaving the airport must use the outside four lanes, we are asking passengers to plan ahead, arrive early for your flight and please be patient," said Paul Campbell, the director of airports. "The airport is going to transformed over the next two years into a facility that is bright, more open and modern. We are for everyone's patience as we get through the construction."
The three restaurants located before the security checkpoints -- Dunkin Donuts, the Lowcountry Grill and Magnolia Grill and Bar -- will stay open during the construction.
When everything reopens, the airport will offer a host of new food and retail offerings, including a Caviar & Bananas, Charleston Beer Works, Harvest & Grounds Bakery & Coffee, Lowcountry Harley Davidson, and Eddie Bauer.
More updates on the construction plan can be found at www.chs-trip.com.