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story.lead_photo.caption This rendering of the new Texarkana Regional Airport passenger terminal, submitted by the airport's administrative office, shows the building's front. The building, projected to cost $36 million, should be completed by 2024.

TEXARKANA, Ark. — After nearly 20 years of planning, the Texarkana Regional Airport Authority Board will hold a live-streamed groundbreaking ceremony for the $36 million passenger terminal at noon, June 12.

The ceremony will officially mark the start of this construction project set to replace the current terminal, which was built in 1960 and renovated in 1992.

The new terminal, projected to be completely constructed and open in 2024, will be state-of-the-art and will be accessible to vehicle traffic off of East 19th Street as well as to traffic from Interstate 49.

The project is finance with money from both the cities of Texarkana, Texas ,and Texarkana, Arkansas, as well as by grant funds from the Federal Aviation Administration and the Arkansas Division of Aeronautics and the Texas Department of Transportation.

"The new terminal is a crucial investment in the Texarkana Regional Airport's infrastructure and comprehensive goal to provide an overall better airport experience for our passengers," said Paul Mehrlich, the airport's executive director of aviation. "The new terminal will also contribute to positive economic development in Texarkana and will meet future needs of leisure and business travel in our area."

The new terminal will include an advanced baggage handling system, a well as room for concessions. And for the first in the airport's history, two enclosed passenger boarding bridges that connect from the terminal directly to the aircraft boarding door.

With the new terminal, the airport could potentially add more destination flights and airlines, according to the Texarkana Regional Airport Authority Board.

Besides the ceremony, airport officials are planning to host a vintage 1940s Douglas DC-3 at the event.

Following the ceremony, the vintage DC-3 will be available to ride for a $100 donation per passenger from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m., June 12, as well as from 9 a.m. to noon June 13.

For more information, call the airport at 870-774-2171.

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