Friday, October 3, 2014

Airport job goes to local contractor

Project will put most of $7.89 million into local economy

Express Staff Writer

This graphic shows the planned reconfiguration of the terminal at Friedman Memorial Airport.
Courtesy graphic

     The contract for an approximately $8 million airport terminal expansion project has been awarded to local contractor Conrad Brothers Construction.

     Firm co-owner Paul Conrad said “a significant amount” of that figure will be paid to local subcontractors.

     The Friedman Memorial Airport Authority board awarded the contract during a special meeting Monday. Conrad Brothers’ bid of $7,889,600 was the lowest of six submitted, and substantially less than consultant Mead & Hunt’s $9.1 million estimate for the project. The highest bid submitted was $9.2 million.

     The board also awarded a $3.5 million contract to Barry Hayes Construction of Idaho Falls to construct a new operations building to house the airport’s administrative offices as well as fire-fighting and snow-removal equipment. Ketchum-based Sawtooth Construction submitted a bid of $3.99 million and Conrad Brothers submitted a bid of $4.12 million. Ruscitto/Latham/Blanton architects had estimated $3.1 million for that project.

     Under Idaho law, public works projects must be awarded to the lowest bidder that meets project specifications. Contractors are likewise required to accept the lowest bids from subcontractors.

     Work on both projects is expected to begin in mid to late October, continue through the winter and be completed by July or August.

     Both are part of an overall $34 million project, most of which is being paid by federal grants, to bring the airport’s runway and taxiway layout into compliance with federal safety standards. The west-side taxiway is being moved 70 feet farther west, requiring demolition of the current operations building and a reconfiguration of the terminal to allow passengers to board and exit planes on the north side of the building. The current boarding area is on the east side.

A worker levels fresh cement put down Wednesday on the north side of the Friedman Memorial Airport terminal in Hailey. The work is part of a project to create a new parking apron where commercial flights will stop to drop off and pick up passengers after the terminal is reconfigured.
Express photo by Roland Lane

     The terminal’s current 20,000-square-foot floor area will be expanded to 34,000 square feet.
    The addition will create an L-shaped building, with an exit door to a pick-up area for arriving passengers at the inner corner of the L. The entry door for departing passengers and the ticketing counter will remain where they are now. Baggage claim and car-rental agency desks will be moved to the northwest side of the new portion of the terminal.

     A project to strengthen the plane parking apron on the north side of the terminal to accommodate commercial jets is under way and expected to be completed by the end of October.

     Conrad said that though some subcontractors on the terminal construction project are from Oregon and Utah, most are local.

     “We’ve got local contractors who have showed they can compete with out-of-towners,” he said.

     Barry Hayes said that close to $1 million of his firm’s $3.5 million contract will be paid to two local subcontractors, Earthworks excavators and Evans Plumbing.

     Local motels and restaurants are expected to benefit from stays by out-of-town workers.

     Both Conrad and Hayes said they were looking forward to doing the work.

     “We’re always looking to build new relationships,” Hayes said.

     However, Conrad said, “I wish we were starting in June, not the end of October.”

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