Photo courtesy of Eastern Iowa Airport

Eastern Iowa Airport Project

Anyone who travels knows the value of a comfortable, fully-modernized airport. Everything goes smoother – from checking bags, to security screening, to boarding and departing planes … even finding something to eat or drink!

It might not be obvious how metal bending and metal rolling fits into the equation. Yet, we’re proud to say we did our part to make traveling better for our neighbors in Iowa!

The Eastern Iowa Airport in Cedar Rapids is in the fourth (and final) phase of a 10-year, $120 million terminal modernization project. The airport is a serious transit point, servicing one-third of Iowa’s commercial passenger traffic.

The fourth phase, started in March 2023 and priced at $68 million, is the biggest yet. It’s scheduled to add 32,000 square feet of expanded concourse space and passenger amenities.


Six gates, and their surrounding areas, are being remodeled. Four jet-boarding bridges will be added. A “patio” common space for passengers is being enlarged.

Tipton Structural Fabrication is supplying structural steel components for the airport work. Our friends Matt McSweeney and Austin Ressler asked Max Weiss Company to provide a variety of curved metal pieces for fourth-phase work. Cedar Valley Steel joined in the party, too, with fabrication and erection services.

We bent nearly 190 pieces in total. Ninety-two were column wraps; the remainder, a mix of angle-rolled steel, and square and rectangular tube sections.

Specs? Oh, we’ve got ‘em:

  • The angle-rolled, leg-out pieces were mainly 4” x 4” x ¼”, and 3” x 3” x ¼”; all had a 31’9” IR
  • The angle-rolled, leg-in pieces were 3” x 3” x ¼”; all had 35’9” OR
  • The wall square A500 grade B tube was 6” x 6” x ¼”, and 6” x 6” x 3/8”
  • The wall rectangular A500 grade B tube was 6” x 2” x ¼”
  • Column wraps ranged from 42M2001 to 42M2022

These formed pieces have been used throughout the extensive new construction. It’s an honor to help set the airport up for continued growth, and a better experience for those passing through.

Even though work hasn’t finished, travelers have responded to improvements thus far. A record 1.4 million used the airport in 2023.

Renovations completed since 2014 modernized the terminal exterior, ticket counters for airlines and rental cars, security checkpoints, restaurant space and more.

The Eastern Iowa Airport supports 3,700 jobs, with an annual economic impact of $300 million. How can these numbers grow, as its new amenities are completed and brought online?

The future looks bright – and we’re thrilled to say that our metal forming helped keep the airport flying high.




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