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VOL. 133 | NO. 163 | Friday, August 17, 2018

$161M in Contracts Awarded for Makeover of Memphis International Airport’s Concourse B

Special to The Daily News

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Memphis International Airport’s $245 million makeover of B Concourse marched toward a September construction launch Thursday with approval of $161 million in related contracts that will create thousands of jobs.

The Memphis-Shelby County Airport Authority board signed off on contracts of $122,582,530 with prime contractor Flintco, $32 million with AERO BridgeWorks Inc. for 25 new jet bridges and up to $7.1 million with Parsons Transportation Group Inc. for construction management.

Tulsa-based Flintco beat out three other national firms for the job of partially demolishing and reconstructing the 55-year-old B Concourse to modern standards.

Memphis International Airport rendering shows view of modernized Concourse B from security checkpoint looking south. (Submitted)

Airport officials said favorable bids mean they can do the project without skimping on upgrades including dynamic glass, moving walkways, upscale restroom finishes and new, versus refurbished, jet bridges. The only alternate bid items left out of the Flintco contract were for downgrades.

The project is expected to be completed in early 2021. The balance of the $245 million consists of contingency funds of 8¼ to 8½ percent and items such as design services and an airport-run insurance program for contractors.

Board chairman Pace Cooper said keeping the project within available funding without cutting corners was an accomplishment considering the current construction environment in Memphis. In particular, he referenced the Memphis Cook Convention Center’s planned modernization, which came in well over budget in March and is due for rebidding in November.

“That is not what happened in our process,” Cooper said. “We were slower, we were more deliberate, we were more careful, and I hope the results today are going to be that we have got our sources and uses plan very much in order, and I think that’s something to be proud of.”

The airport originally targeted a mid-May deadline for bids, but pushed that to the end of June because of the highly competitive market for contractors.

Flintco southeast division president Tim Weatherford said it’s indeed a busy time in Memphis.

Flintco has contracts for a pedestrian bridge and parking at University of Memphis, a research tower at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, University of Tennessee Health Science Center research buildings, a Campbell Clinic addition in Germantown and a Bartlett High School addition and renovation, Weatherford said.

Weatherford expects about 2,500 people to work on Flintco’s airport contract, the vast majority of them local.

Scott Brockman, airport president and chief executive officer, said the project had a 26 percent goal for disadvantaged business enterprise participation (minority- and women-owned). Flintco came in at 27 percent. That translates into $28.6 million for 17 minority subcontractors. Thirteen minority subcontractors are local and in line to be paid $27 million, Brockman said.

The jet bridge contract focused on a smaller minority business goal, 14 percent, because of the relative specialization of the work, and AERO BridgeWorks beat that with 15.3 percent of $3 million going to minority businesses. Brockman said that contract includes about $70,000 for one local minority subcontractor.

Minority-owned Memphis firms Self+Tucker Architects and Toles & Associates will be subcontractors for Parsons Transportation Group, helping Parsons meet a 25 percent minority participation goal, Brockman said.

Concourse modernization will reshape the eastern leg of the Y-shaped B Concourse into 23 gates, airline facilities, retail and food and beverage. It will have wider corridors, taller ceilings, more natural lighting and larger boarding areas. Two gates will be refurbished for international arrivals in the otherwise mothballed western leg of Concourse B.

Airlines are operating out of A and C concourses while B is closed for construction.

Airport officials said they’re working on plans for an event to launch construction.

PROPERTY SALES 97 418 8,253
MORTGAGES 112 508 9,293
BUILDING PERMITS 194 1,059 18,126
BANKRUPTCIES 46 208 5,367