ROMULUS, MI-Northwest Airlines says it’s going to spend more than $45 million to rebuild a new concourse at the McNamera Terminal, only months after the massive project opened. The 1 million-sf McNamera Terminal was opened early this year at the Detroit airport in Romulus, which is the main airport for the southeast Michigan region. The cost of the project was roughly $2.1 billion.

Executives at Northwest knew ahead of time that the brand-new terminal would have to be rebuilt soon after it opened, said company spokeswoman Mary Beth Schubert. “We knew. The concourse was built with concrete blocks as a minimal investment,” Schubert told

Concourse C will be rebuilt as a Phase II of the project, she said, adding that the company has contracted with Smith Group of Detroit to build the new concourse. She noted that the company finished negotiating the design of the McNamera Terminal, named after Wayne County Executive Ed McNamera, back in 1997.

Since then, the airline realized it was going to buy a new, smaller type of airplane for commuter flights between cities, she said. “We only owned turbo prop aircraft then. We didn’t know how many regional jets we were going to need.”

The company eventually ordered more than 100 of the small jets. The new two-story concourse will have about 40 gates. “We designed the facility to be one-tenth expendable,” Schubert said. “We need to accommodate new fleet growth.”

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