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Five Things to Watch

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Who and what will you be watching across the industry this year? In this, the first 2014 issue of ENR Mountain States, we are launching a new feature called "Things to Watch." The use of the generic word "thing" is intentional because we are not limiting our choices to projects or companies or people—although those certainly will be included. We will also highlight trends, issues, industry milestones and even some cautionary tales.

Photo courtesy of CDOT
Work on the new eastbound bore of the I-70 Twin Tunnels near Idaho Springs was completed late last year. Now CDOT is working to improve the westbound lanes.
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We're looking across the industry to see who is making an impact—an above-and-beyond or out-of-the-box contribution—that may have ripple effects. Here are some of the things we think are worth watching. There are many more to come. Let us know what you think.

$1.8B SLC Airport Expansion Under Way

With the recent selection of a joint-venture contractor, work will begin this summer

Plans to replace aging terminals at Salt Lake City International Airport have taken several steps toward the starting line in recent years, and now work is scheduled to begin this summer. In 2012, airport and city leaders selected San Francisco-based international architecture and engineering firm HOK to lead the $1.8-billion Terminal Replacement Project. Last year, the airport brought Making Projects Work Inc. on board as its program manager. The Atlanta-based firm specializes in airport construction. In November the airport hired Salt Lake City-based Big-D Construction and Holder Construction Co. of Atlanta, working in a joint venture as HD Construction, to be the contractor.

"This selection is a major milestone in launching the program that will build a new terminal and facilities for Salt Lake City International Airport," says Maureen Riley, executive director of the Salt Lake City Dept. of Airports, in a statement. "HD has the specialized experience required for this endeavor and the perfect combination of skill and expertise."

The new terminal and associated parking structure will be located just west and south of the current facilities and will eventually utilize three of the existing concourses. The design by HOK calls for a five-level, 4,700-space (including 1,200 rental-car spaces) parking terrace separated from a three-story terminal by access roads and a pedestrian bridge.

A split-level road in front of the terminal is designed for departing passengers to be dropped off on the third level, with arrivals using the lowest one. Foot traffic from the parking terrace will enter the second level of the terminal via a pedestrian bridge. From the central terminal, concourse arms will extend east and west to individual gates. Work is scheduled to begin this summer with construction of rental-car service facilities. Demolition of old facilities and new construction will proceed in stages. The new terminal will open in 2019.

According to the Salt Lake City Dept. of Airports, the goals for the new facility include addressing seismic concerns, constructing right-sized facilities, improving customer service, solving operational problems, accommodating growth, maintaining competitive costs and upgrading in phases over eight to ten years.

During the design process, which began last year, HOK is engaging consultants from local architectural firms: MHTN, GSBS, FFKR and Architectural Nexus. Civil engineering for new roads, utilities and structures is being led by a partnership of URS and J.U.B. overseeing a team comprising CH2M Hill, Horrocks Engineers, RB&G and CDM Smith. Consulting for structural engineering will be done locally by Reaveley Engineers + Associates and Dunn Associates Inc., with mechanical and electrical engineering by Colvin Engineering and Van Boerum & Frank Associates Inc. Specialty contractors for the concrete, steel, stone, drywall and other trades are yet to be determined.

Currently, Salt Lake City International Airport is a collection of buildings and concourses of varying ages ranging from the main terminal and central plant, which are 51 years old, to the international terminal and concourse E, built 16 years ago. The airport site is about eight miles west of downtown Salt Lake City. It has operated as an airport since the early 1930s.

Developers at Odds With SLC Ordinances

Impact fees are getting a review but the waiting game continues for changes to demolition and parking regs

2014 could be the year the Salt Lake City Council, with four newly sworn-in members, will deal with the fallout from ordinances relating to new construction. The ordinances went into effect at the beginning of 2013 and have many people in the development community crying foul and hinting at legal action.

The objections come from Salt Lake City property owners and developers who have a beef with the city over impact fees for new construction and ordinances that restrict demolition of existing buildings.

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