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Preparing for Takeoff

Regional airports expand capacity and upgrade passenger service and security

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Additionally, the airport is in the process of updating its master plan to identify and evaluate future development opportunities. Completion of the $1.6-million study is expected by early 2012, with airport management and a team from Jacobs Consultancy leading the planning.

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St. George Municipal Airport

The main hub of activity in Utah is at the $160-million replacement airport for the current St. George Municipal Airport. The project, funded primarily by FAA, city and stimulus package programs, has given the local economy a much-needed boost, employing area management teams and dozens of local subcontractors.

Competitive bids came in at an average of 45% to 50% below 2007 estimates, enabling more to be accomplished within the original budget, according to airport officials.

Construction on the new airport began in fall 2008, with Jacobs Engineering, Pasadena, Calif., as project manager and Denver-based PBS&J consulting with the city on the airside design and construction-phase services.

Despite the added coordination required for the remote site, 25 miles from the nearest utility access points, the airport is on schedule for its grand opening in January.

Nearly five times the size of the existing airport, the new airport will feature a 1.8-mile runway; two full-length taxiways; an aircraft, rescue and firefighting facility; and a two-story, 34,000-sq-ft terminal building with an enclosed garden, administrative offices and commercial business suites.

Built with future growth in mind, the airport sits on a 1,200-acre abandoned airfield surrounded by thousands of adjacent developable acres.

R.E. Monks Construction Co. of Colorado Springs carried out the $4-million initial rough grading and drainage portion of the project. St. George-based Quality Excavation took on the next stages, which included $4 million in finish grading and approximately $24 million in airfield lighting and airport paving projects, including the airport parkway.

The $6-million terminal building, built by Westland Construction’s St. George office and designed by Reynolds, Smith & Hills Inc., Jacksonville, Fla., has been erected on a 15-month schedule and remains on budget despite some changes made during construction.

The project team is on track to turn over the property to the city by December, with substantial completion by mid-October.

Other Utah Airports

At Salt Lake International Airport, Granite Construction, Watsonville, Calif., currently has six projects underway, including development of a new taxiway as a part of an airfield expansion. Granite is also among the contractors working at Monticello Airport, where improvements to two taxiways, parking facilities and the access road are underway. In addition, the firm is finalizing the contract for a new taxiway project at Wendover Airport.

Aside from various maintenance projects, the majority of investment at Salt Lake International involves the design and construction of new aircraft de-icing facilities at the runway ends. Bidding will happen in January, with construction to start in May. Funded primarily with FAA grants and passenger facility charges, the project is estimated to cost about $28 million.

Other capital improvement projects at the airport include an $11-million apron expansion to support future buildings at the north cargo area, set to start in fall 2011. The expansion is the first in a series of projects necessary to relocate the facilities that will be affected by the de-icing project. Construction for a $3-million taxiway asphalt-resurfacing project is slated to begin in April.

Both projects are contingent upon FAA funding.

Wyoming Airports

In Wyoming, construction on the new $5.6-million terminal at Yellowstone Regional Airport in Cody is coming to a close. As crews run through the punch list, airlines, car rental companies, the Transportation Security Administration and other tenants prepared for the grand opening in late October.

Designed by CTA Architects of Billings, Mont., the 28,000-sq-ft building is the centerpiece of a $12.5-million improvement program that has taken five years to complete. The project was funded almost entirely by FAA and state grants, with the local 2% match being covered by passenger fees.

The new terminal, about twice the size of the existing one, accomodates two airline ticketing facilities, expanded passenger screening facilities, a larger passenger waiting area with restrooms, expanded baggage-claim area, three rental-car counters and a restaurant with an airfield view.

The new building, designed to meet LEED certification, also included components necessary to upgrade the airport’s security level, a requirement that will allow the airport to have regular flights by planes carrying more than 61 passengers.

Wadman Corp., Ogden, Utah, is the general contractor for the terminal, with Morrison-Maierle Inc. of Gillette, Wyo., as project engineer.


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