Over the past eight years, Rob Bramblett has crisscrossed the country on one major airport construction project after another, designing and building terminals from Houston to Little Rock, and from Philadelphia to Ft. Lauderdale.
But his work on Tampa International Airport’s main terminal expansion has taken him somewhere special: Home.
Bramblett, a senior project manager with Skanska USA Building, is a Clearwater resident with deep roots and family ties to the area. He grew up in Tarpon Springs, attending high school at East Lake.
“It’s nice to be home again,” he said. “It’s nice to sleep in my bed, park in my garage.”
Bramblett, 36, began his career in aviation construction with Skanska in 2003. His first job? Working on TPA’s Airside E and later on the outbound baggage modification project. After that, he took on a four-year project at George Bush Intercontinental Airport Houston, designing a new terminal and remodeling terminal C. After stints in Little Rock and Philadelphia, the chance to work at Tampa came up.
“This project makes sense for me,” he said. “It’s my home.”
He said he’s excited to be working again at TPA.
“I’m one of those people that happens to love this airport. I have a tremendous sense of pride in it,” Bramblett said. “The airport is already a pretty signature part of Tampa. This project is going to accentuate that fact.”
His favorite part of the project: The east expansion, which includes new terraces, a sloped steel roof that points towards the sky and an automated people mover station.
“When we’re done, that east side view is going to be what people remember,” he said. “It’s going to be a brand new front door to this airport and the whole community.”
Skanska is the design-builder on TPA’s $122.5 main terminal expansion and concessions redevelopment, which is a key component of the airport’s $943 million master plan expansion. The project marks the first time the main terminal has been expanded since it was originally built in 1971 and is one of the most significant remodels in airport history.
It’s also one of the most challenging – something Bramblett knows very well.
He noted that, in Skanska’s team, TPA is getting a group that exclusively works on airports and is trained to anticipate passenger impact and minimize any inconvenience.
“You hired an aviation contractor - that’s what we do,” he said. “That’s how we think.”
He said appropriate signage and messaging is of utmost importance.
Whether it’s Tampa or another airport, the challenges are always very similar when it comes to limited space, concerns over security, passenger safety and comfort.
Skanska is taking a number of steps to minimize the impact.
Much of the heavy construction will be performed at night when fewer passengers and guests are around. Large walls and barriers will be erected to minimize exposure. Crews will spray water during demolition to minimize dust.
While this project is a major undertaking, Bramblett said Skanska’s team is committed to maintaining TPA’s strong reputation.
“This airport always has such a high level of customer service - it’s always one of the top airports in the world for customer service,” he said. “We are not going to have you lose that during this construction. Everything we do is about maintaining the high level of customer service and keeping the love of this airport at that level.”