By OnMilwaukee Staff Writers   Published Dec 12, 2006 at 5:30 PM
Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker, County Supervisor and Chairman of the County Board’s Transportation & Public Works Committee James White and Chairman, President and CEO of Midwest Airlines Tim Hoeksema today celebrated the completion of a $9.5 million expansion of the Concourse D “stem” at General Mitchell International Airport.

The project, which added 7,120 sq. ft. to the concourse, created new ground-level boarding gates used by passengers of Midwest Airlines’ commuter service, Midwest Connect. The project also enlarged airline gate seating areas, widened the corridor between gates, created two two-story atriums with floor-to-ceiling windows that let in more natural light, and remodeled food, beverage and retail areas.

Walker said the timing of the renovation coincides well with new southeastern Wisconsin  initiatives to draw business investment to the region. “The bright, spacious new gates highlight what makes this such an easy, efficient airport,” said Walker. "Mitchell International serves as the front door  to our region.”
In 2005, a record 7.3 million passengers used Mitchell, and the airport is slightly ahead of that pace in 2006.

Milwaukee artist Richard Taylor was commissioned to create artwork for the concourse under  Milwaukee County’s One Percent for the Arts program. Taylor’s sculpture, Blue Sky between Footsteps, draws on the way in which found objects tell the story of a journey.
The D stem renovation marks the fourth of six major concourse remodeling projects to be completed at the airport. The first, which added two lanes (for a total of six) and widened the security checkpoint on Concourse D, was completed in December 2004. The second, a complete renovation and widening of the Concourse C stem, was finished in July 2006. The third, which added one lane (for a total of four) to the security checkpoint on Concourse E, opened in August 2006. A fifth project that will reconfigure the Concourse E stem will be finished later this month. The final project is an eight-gate addition to Concourse C scheduled for completion in July 2007.