Yampa Valley Regional Airport job to go to lowest qualified bidder | SteamboatToday.com

Yampa Valley Regional Airport job to go to lowest qualified bidder

— The lowest qualified bidder will emerge as the winner of the $7.8 million terminal expansion contract at Yampa Valley Regional Airport when bids are opened Thursday. But it will be at least another week before the winning bid is presented to the Routt County Board of Commissioners for final approval.

Airport Man­ager Dave Ruppel told the commissioners Monday that about 40 interested general contractors and subcontractors attended an information meeting at the airport June 23.

"I was real pleased to see as many people out there as we had," Ruppel said. "I'll try to get it on the agenda for July 6, but it may take until July 13. Realistically, we should be able to start construction by the first of August."

Ruppel told the commissioners that projects funded by the Federal Aviation Administration must be awarded to the lowest qualified bidder. The county's engineering consultant, Jacobs Engineering Group, will go through the bids to determine if they conform to FAA requirements. The FAA's standards will be sufficient to ensure that the lowest bidder is fully qualified to complete the job, he said. In order to qualify, the contractor must demonstrate their ability to bond for the project, that they haven't had a decision against them in a contract dispute and that they've completed a sufficient number of similarly sized projects.

The construction expected to begin this summer will kick off a two-year project that will add a second baggage carousel to the airport in Hayden, which serves Steamboat's resort community as well as the rest of Northwest Colorado.

Because of the late start this summer, the first winter's work will be limited to about $1.5 million of the full contract. Ultimately it also will add second story office space and a new, professionally designed main-floor restaurant to the airport.

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An FAA grant will cover 95 percent of the constructions costs in areas of the terminal that relate directly to aviation.

That does not include moving the airport administration offices into the terminal or the restaurant, Ruppel told the commissioners.

That means the FAA will cover 95 percent of an estimated 75 percent of the entire contract, he added.

The county hopes that the new baggage carousel and restaurant will be ready in time for ski season 2011-2012.

Airport dining

Ruppel said a professional restaurant design firm has been retained to ensure the new dining space functions well. He said the county would purchase the necessary equipment for the kitchen and dining room.

"In addition to having a new dining facility that works well for passengers, we want to ensure that we can have a successful operator," he said.

Plans include a separate exterior entrance to the restaurant, allowing it to serve patrons outside airport hours.

Commissioner Doug Monger said the county wants to have some control over the quality of the airport restaurant. He added that he thinks the branding of the facility is important.

"We want it to reflect the historic nature of our area and it's got to have a Western flair," he said.

— To reach Tom Ross, call 871-4205 or e-mail tross@steamboatpilot.com