Thanksgiving travelers flying out of BWI this week should be relieved to hear the airport has a couple improvements being unveiled today that should reduce pedestrian congestion.

The airport is opening a connector between Concourses D and E that has been several years in the making. The two concourses house the gates for international airlines at the airport, so global travelers will benefit most directly from the construction addition. However, all travelers should reap some benefit, as the new section should decrease bottlenecking in Concourse D and the main terminal, particularly in busy weeks like this one.

At the ribbon-cutting ceremony this morning, BWI will also be unveiling a new security checkpoint serving both international and domestic travelers, as well as a widened section of Concourse D that should also open the space up a bit. With the holidays fast approaching, the timing couldn’t be much better.

“It’s going to be a real improvement to the airport,” Maryland Transportation Secretary Pete Rahn told Colin Campbell at The Sun. “People are going to feel less stresses as a result of this.”

The state approved the contract for construction of the connector by Whiting-Turner Contracting Co. last March. The total cost of the project has been estimated at $125 million. It was designed to accommodate a steady increase in international traffic at the airport over the last several years.

The new area should be pretty snazzy, with an art gallery, a gym, a new restaurant with an outdoor patio and even an indoor pet area, according to Washingtonian. (The art gallery apparently features works by artists from around the region; Maryland First Lady Yumi Hogan chaired the jury panel that selected the artwork.)

Even if you’re not flying internationally this week, if you’re there and have some time to kill before your domestic flight, it might be worth a walk-through.

This story has been updated to reflect the correct cost of the project.

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Ethan McLeod

Ethan McLeod is a freelance reporter in Baltimore. He previously worked as an editor for the Baltimore Business Journal and Baltimore Fishbowl. His work has appeared in Bloomberg CityLab, Next City and...