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Orleans airport expansion includes 2 concourses

KENNER, La. (AP) -- The expanded New Orleans airport will include two concourses with 30 gates, a $17 million on-site hotel and a parking garage with 2,000 spaces, according to details of the plan presented Thursday.

The plan for the new 650,000-square-foot glass-walled terminal at Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport also calls for a new $87 million ramp from Interstate 10 to improve traffic flow. Artist renderings showed views of the $826 million airport overhaul, which includes a new north terminal for the airport.

The plan was presented at a news conference attended by Mayor Mitch Landrieu, members of the New Orleans Aviation Board and other public officials.

The city said funding sources include Federal Aviation Administration grants, Transportation Safety Administration grants, Louisiana State Aviation Trust Fund grants, General Airport Revenue Bonds and Aviation Board Capital Funds.

Landrieu's office says the project will create 13,000 construction jobs.

"We did the hard work, leveraged our relationships with federal, state and local partners, and today a financially feasible, world-class airport is on the way," Landrieu said in a news release after Thursday's gathering.

The New Orleans-owned airport is located in the suburban city off Kenner, where Mayor Mike Yenni said businesses will benefit from the project.

"Hotels, restaurants and other businesses will want to take advantage of the increased activity around the airport during construction, as well as the boost in passenger volume that a world-class airport in a world-class city is certain to stimulate when the project is completed," Yenni said in a news release.

The airport serves between 7 million and 8 million passenger per year. Landrieu, who first announced plans for the overhaul in April, hopes to have it completed by the time the city celebrates its tricentennial in 2018.