Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

$5.17 Million Contract Awarded for Taxiway/authority 'Gambling' on Federal Funds

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

$5.17 Million Contract Awarded for Taxiway/authority 'Gambling' on Federal Funds

Article excerpt

A $5.17 million construction contract for a taxiway at Will Rogers World Airport was awarded Wednesday by the Oklahoma City Airport Trust.

Haskell Lemon Construction Co. was awarded the contract - but has agreed to only work on the portion that currently has federal funding, according to Leroy Hansen, airports director.

The authority is "gambling" on an additional $1.6 million in federal funds becoming available later.

If construction begins on the other end of the runway before federal funding is awarded, the project will not be eligible for a federal grant, Hansen explained.

Urging the trust to act now, Hansen outlined two major reasons the risk should be taken.

- First, the 75-foot-by-11,550-foot taxiway is designed to provide access to the east runway at Will Rogers World Airport, thus making developing the 400-plus acres east of the taxiway more probable.

That area has a number of prospective tenants, according to Leroy Hansen, including Ramcor Airlines Maintenance Corp., which has proposed a $53 million aircraft maintenance facility at the site. It is also the area that The Boeing Co. of Seattle, Wash., had considered before chosing a Louisiana site. If the taxiway is begun now, prospective aviation-related industries will have more incentive to locate at Will Rogers, he said.

- Waiting also could cost the airport trust a considerably larger amount of money, officials claimed. The release of funding for highway construction projects with the passage of a federal highway bill meant the paving market would swing to the advantage of the construction companies, resulting in higher bid prices on projects such as the taxiway.

Besides the construction costs, there are about $500,000 in engineering, inspection, testing and related costs.

The companies vying for the project submitted bids for a portion of the project and for the entire project. …

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