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Parking at RDU? Mind the colors on your way in.

Travelers head to their cars from Terminal 2 in a driving rain storm at Raleigh-Durham International Airport in this file photo from December 2015. The airport is installing new equipment at the entrance and exits of its parking decks to accommodate a new online booking system that will be available early next year.
Travelers head to their cars from Terminal 2 in a driving rain storm at Raleigh-Durham International Airport in this file photo from December 2015. The airport is installing new equipment at the entrance and exits of its parking decks to accommodate a new online booking system that will be available early next year. cliddy@newsobserver.com

People who park in the decks at Raleigh-Durham International Airport in the coming weeks will need to pay attention to the colors at the entrances and exits.

The airport is changing out its ticketing and payment machines to prepare for a new online booking system, and drivers will need to use the same type of equipment going out as they did when they came in. To help, the airport has marked the lanes with the new equipment with yellow, and asks drivers who go through those lanes to look for yellow exit lanes, too.

Airport staff will be stationed at entry, exit and pay-on-foot machines to help during the transition, which is expected to take about 30 days.

The new equipment will be able to read license plates, telling the airport the moment you arrive in the deck and allowing you to pay on the way out even if you’ve lost your ticket. The equipment also will be able to handle mobile payments on Apple and Android devices.

The online booking system will let people reserve and pay for their parking spot online at a discount. RDU had planned to launch online booking in the spring of 2016, but had to put it off because of trouble integrating the online system with the equipment that controls the entrance and exit gates. The airport now hopes to launch the new system in early 2018.

Meanwhile, RDU says repair and maintenance work on its parking decks that began earlier this year is about 75 percent finished and should be done by the end of the year. Workers have closed off sections of the 11,000-space parking decks to repair and seal beams, improve drainage and do pressure washing and striping. The oldest section of the parking structure was built in 1986, and the newest section was completed in 2003.

Richard Stradling: 919-829-4739, @RStradling

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