Timeline for new Hayden airport terminal gets pushed after stalled negotiations
Negotiations break down with bidder
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Construction of a new terminal at the Yampa Valley Regional Airport has been delayed at least until next year.
This comes after negotiations with the sole bidder for the project broke down in early August, according to airport director Kevin Booth.
In July, the airport received a $2.6 million grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation as part of its Airport Improvement Program. About $1.6 million of those funds were slated for the terminal expansion, with the airport footing the rest of the bill, according to Booth.
He and other airport administrators opened bids for the terminal project in June with a budget of about $2.5 million. Officials had hoped to break ground this summer.
By the end of the bidding period, only one company, Grand Junction-based FCI Constructors, had applied for the project.
The company requested an amount of money that, according to Booth, was “significantly in excess” of the airport’s budget.
For 30 days, both sides tried to negotiate a compromise. By August, neither the airport nor FCI was willing to budge, and negotiations were ended, according to Booth.
Representatives at FCI could not be reached for comment.
Booth believes a tight timeline caused the construction company to charge more than the $2.5 million that engineers, representing the airport, had estimated the terminal project to cost.
“The earliest (FCI) could have started would be (this) August,” Booth said. “They may have increased their costs to be sure they get the work done in the limited amount of time that is available,” he added, referring to the fast-approaching winter season.
A larger issue, according to Booth, concerns the lack of contractors in the area who have experience working with the Federal Aviation Administration. The FAA enforces strict rules on construction companies, few of which have experience working under those regulations.
“For other companies, it can be daunting,” Booth said, pointing to a lack of local contractors that have experience working with the FAA.
FCI has overseen construction projects at two Colorado airports, according to the company’s website. Those include the Denver International Airport and the Aspen-Pitkin County Airport.
In early September, the airport plans to re-open bids for the terminal project, according to Booth, with the aim of breaking ground in spring 2020.
“If we get a good bid, we can start in April,” he said.
He hopes the wider timeframe will reduce the amount that bidding contractors charge for their construction services.
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STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — James “Jim Bob” Moffett was a geologist, a former college football player and oil wildcatter, who built Freeport-McMoRan into one of the world’s leading natural resource companies.