Error forces rebid on hangar project
It was an “whoops” moment, acknowledged the Yuma International Airport manager of an error in the bid package for a construction project at the airport.
As a result, said Craig Williams, construction of the Aviation Industrial Center will need to be rebid. This will push the project back a couple of months, he said.
The timeline now calls for going back out to bid the week of Sept. 10, with the bids to be opened when the Yuma County Airport Authority meets on Oct. 9. Construction would likely start in early November and take about 10 months.
The error came about because the bid package included a Federal Aviation Administration contract clause requiring “buy American.” The Economic Development Administration, which awarded the airport a $3.8 million grant to help fund the project, had asked the airport to strike the “buy American” clause to save costs.
“It was an administrative error,” Williams said of the clause's inclusion. “I feel the clause wouldn't have impacted the outcome of the bid, but it meant we have to rebid the project.”
But that might be a blessing in disguise.
“When the bids came in, they were much higher than we thought,” Williams said. So the rebidding gives the airport an opportunity to modify the project in hopes of bringing down the cost.
The changes in the bid package include removing a costly alternative for the enhanced fire protection system and revising the security system, which is expected to save a substantial sum.
The project was budgeted for $4.2 million to $4.3 million, Williams said. However, the bids ranged from $4.6 million to $5.6 million.
Plans for the AIC are for two hangars with shared office and shop space for short- and long-term tenants in the Defense Contractors Complex at the airport. The AIC is needed, Williams said, to meet the continuing need for hangar space by defense contractors at Yuma Proving Ground and Marine Corps Air Station Yuma.
“We don't have tenants lined up. But we get frequent inquires so I'm confident it won't sit empty.”
Meanwhile, another airport project to widen and improve Taxiway Zulu is under way, Williams said. The $2.3 million project is expected to be completed in early 2013. Zeller's is the general contractor.
Widening the taxiway will meet FAA requirements for larger aircraft. The project also includes improvements to the lighting.
It will be done in three phases in an effort to minimize the impact on the general aviation community, Williams said. It also will be coordinated with MCAS Yuma, which also is doing work in the area. And it has to accommodate WTI (Weapons and Tactical Training) that will start in early October.
The airport also will be going to bid in late September for the construction of restrooms in the secure passenger seating area of the terminal. An Arizona Department of Transportation grant of $180,000 will help fund the project.
In addition, the airport has received a $225,000 grant to restore the concrete parking apron in front of the terminal. It's a small project, Williams said, but one that will extend the life of the apron for four or five years.