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After Gate 35X gets the ax, a new concourse blooms at Reagan National Airport

The concourse replacement for the dreaded Gate 35X at  Reagan National Airport will have 14 gates, 10 concessions and an American Airlines' Admirals Club.
The concourse replacement for the dreaded Gate 35X at Reagan National Airport will have 14 gates, 10 concessions and an American Airlines' Admirals Club. (Katherine Frey/The Washington Post)

Reagan National Airport on Tuesday will celebrate the “soft” opening of its new 14-gate passenger concourse that will replace the infamous Gate 35X, which requires travelers to ride shuttle buses to their flights.

The airy 230,000-square-foot space is the airport’s biggest upgrade since 1997, when Terminals B and C were opened, adding more than 1 million square feet to what had been a single terminal airport.

American Airlines will operate mostly regional service out of the new concourse, located on the north side of the airport next to Terminal C.

Travelers flying through the new space will notice that parts of it are under construction. The concourse originally was scheduled to open in July but airport and American Airlines officials pushed to open it sooner — hence the “soft” opening.

The new building includes 14,000 square feet of space for shopping and dining, as well as a pet-relief area and two nursing spaces for parents. Many of its features, including its six Jeffersonian domes, were designed to mirror other airport spaces, down to the ocher (or National Yellow as some airport employees have dubbed it) paint on the exposed steel columns. Airport officials said more than 900,000 hours went into constructing the building, which also boasts more than 82,400 square feet of glass — better for viewing the monuments across the river.

The new concourse also will be home to a 14,000-square-foot American Airlines’ Admirals Club scheduled to open next year.

Among the destinations that will be served by the new concourse: Albany, Cleveland, Charleston, W.Va., and Raleigh-Durham.

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