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Airport Parking Improvements for a Price

CEDAR RAPIDS, IA (CBS2/FOX28 )  Your landing at the Eastern Iowa Airport may be a lot smoother than your drive out of the parking lot.  A winter that put potholes and frost heaves in even the best of streets is partly to blame, but some of the concrete just outside the doors of the terminal was poured when Jimmy Carter was still in the White House.

On Monday Airport Director Tim Bradshaw announced plans for a $10-million improvement plan to completely dig up  and reconstruct  the short-term parking lot and repair the long-term parking, We felt like our airfield was in really good shape, but we wanted to concentrate on what we call the landside, the terminal, roads and parking .. most of our infrastructure is approaching 25, 30, 40 years old, much like streets around the community and its time to put money back into those improvements.

Unfortunately, The Eastern Iowa Airport doesnt receive federal funds or tax dollars to pay for such a project so the construction will mean raising parking fees for the first time since 2001.  Long-term parking rates will increase from $5 a day to $6.  Short-term airport parking will go up two dollars, from $7 a day to $9.  Its estimated the additional money will raise nearly $815,000 per year to help with the improvements.

Passengers who just handed their money to parking lot attendants after returning from trips Monday afternoon all remarked that compared to other airports the cost of parking seemed very fair.  One woman told us its a tradeoff , I would still pay that .. just for the convenience of being able to fly out of Cedar Rapids, she said.  Bradshaw echoes that thought saying they take raising fees very seriously and did their research, Were still the cheapest in the area, even with our rates raising were still going to be the cheapest airport for parking.

The first signs of construction and repair in the Eastern Iowa Airport parking lots will come in August and September.  Bradshaw says thats a conscious effort to avoid the bulk of the summer vacation season. 

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