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SEATTLE-Northwest Airlines has completed a $45 million expansion project at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport the Minneapolis-based company began just more than one year ago.

A 151,000 square foot aircraft maintenance building with 86,000 sf of hangar floor, and a 55,000 sf cargo facility were built to replace Northwest’s existing buildings, which were located on a 15-acre parcel in an area designated for passenger terminal expansion.

“Seattle is an important gateway market for Northwest for both passenger and cargo traffic,” Northwest Airlines President Doug Steenland said during the opening ceremonies. “These new facilities and the expanded terminal space that the Port’s South Terminal Expansion Project will provide, firmly support Northwest’s growth and expansion in Seattle.”

The hangar has a clear-span width of 380 feet and an inside height of 82 feet, which is capable of housing all models of the Northwest fleet. It is initially configured to accommodate two DC-10 aircraft (wing tip to wing tip) along with an engine access platform that permits direct access to the DC-10 number two engine and the horizontal and vertical stabilizer surfaces. The hangar is designed for future expansion of approximately 100 feet, which would then allow parking space for two 747 aircraft.

The separate cargo facility features 14 land-side truck bays, a dedicated 747 freighter loading position and other operational features to facilitate handling of cargo from passenger aircraft and cargo freighters.

Construction of the $45 million hangar and cargo buildings, located on nearly 15 acres of land, began in June 2000 and employed as many as 180 local workers on-site each day.

Seattle based Edberg Christiansen Heidenreich Architecture headed the design team, which included other Seattle firms, including Skilling Ward Magnusson Barkshire Inc. as the structural engineers. General contractors Walbridge Aldinger of Detroit and Strand Hunt of Kirkland,Washington formed a joint venture for the construction.

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