Major work visible at Charleston International Airport

Contractors finished the last of the building foundation for an in-fill area at Charleston International Airport. This area will house the new consolidated TSA checkpoint and administrative offices for the Charleston County Aviation Authority. (Photo/Charleston County Aviation Authority)

Contractors finished the last of the building foundation for an infill area at Charleston International Airport. This area will house the new consolidated TSA checkpoint and administrative offices for the Charleston County Aviation Authority. (Photo/Charleston County Aviation Authority)

By Andy Owens
aowens@scbiznews.com
Published April 22, 2014

With about 16% of a $200 million redevelopment project completed, some of the major construction is now visible at Charleston International Airport.

A lot of the work is still going on behind the scenes or behind partitioned walls along with some front-and-center dramatic changes to the outside of the airport.

The Charleston County Aviation Authority received an update on the costs and progress of the Terminal Redevelopment and Improvement Program during a meeting last week.

The program’s committee Chairman Hernan Pena said two change orders came before the committee with recommendations for approval for both.

Typically, change orders result in extra costs for construction projects, but one resulted in a $51,399 credit for abandoning an existing communication line and for reduced demolition costs at concourse B.

“This is the kind of change order that we like to see,” Pena said.

Part of the change order also included work to accommodate Transportation Security Administration screening equipment, changes and repairs to existing fire and water infrastructure and increased size grade of beams.

Renovations are completed for the second baggage claim area at Charleston International Airport. Installation of the first baggage claim area is underway, officials said. (Photo/Charleston County Aviation Authority)
Renovations are completed for the second baggage claim area at Charleston International Airport. Installation of the first baggage claim area is underway, officials said. (Photo/Charleston County Aviation Authority)
Pena first presented a $47,808 change order to the rental car pavilion for more equipment and fire rating of the information technology room, among other changes. Part of that money will be paid back to the Charleston County Aviation Authority by Avis.

“Avis had requested that additional modifications be made to their office in the amount of $19,230,” Pena said. “These funds will be paid back to the authority.”

The Terminal Redevelopment and Improvement Program is well under expected contingency costs at this stage, Pena reported. A chart showing that with about 16% of the redevelopment project completed, just over $900,000 of an $11.2 million contingency fund has been spent. The project team had budgeted just over $3 million for extra costs if needed at this stage.

“It’s under a million dollars,” Pena said. “The staff, the Trip team is tracking this very, very closely.”

Pena also noted several milestones in the redevelopment project, including the central energy plant’s second-floor beginning and other site work and utilities installation. Some of the ongoing utilities work had been disruptive to the operations of some air carriers, he said.

“Finally, we’re seeing that this area is being restored. It’s great for the airlines,” Pena said. “It’s the area that they use to mobilize luggage and so forth.”

Pena said contractors also are building new gates to prepare for new passenger boarding bridges, which are expected to arrive in May or June. Also, two new baggage claim areas are open with a third under construction.

“Outside in the front curb area, you see a lot of activity there,” Pena said. “That’s in preparation also for the canopy that’s similar to what you can see if you look at the rental car pavilion.”

North Charleston Mayor Keith Summey said it was commendable for the airport to be operating as efficiently as it was during the redevelopment project.

“It’s been a unified effort to keep the Charleston International Airport online and moving as well as possible,” Summey said.

Pena said quality issues arose in the rental car pavilion with flooring and some of the paneling. He said the Terminal Redevelopment and Improvement Program team and the airport staff have been working to find solutions as problems have cropped up.

“They’re all committed to providing a quality product,” Pena said.

Reach Andy Owens at 843-849-3142.

Email Print

Do you give this article a thumbs up? Thumbs_upYes