Airport renovation project nearing completion

The Juneau Airport’s two-and-a-half-year terminal renovation project is coming to a close – a year later than expected and more than a million dollars over the original price tag.

Airport Architect Catherine Fritz says all that’s left to do is to go through the final punch list and pay McGraw Custom Construction the final 90-thousand dollars of its contract.

The work ended up costing just under 11.2-million dollars, up from the original estimate of 10.1-million. Fritz says unforeseen conditions exposed during construction and design errors contributed to the increase. But the airport also requested additional work not included in the original plans. For example, renovation of the departure lounge.

“Because of the timeliness and the integral nature of other work in the departure lounge that was in the contract, we were able to use existing contractor and subcontractors to accomplish work that wasn’t originally in the scope,” says Fritz.

She says McGraw was able to utilize surplus materials, saving money on the departure lounge work.

Renovations began in May 2009 and included adding about 10-thousand square feet to the terminal building, modernizing the baggage claim area, and a new down escalator for passengers arriving at the airport. Fritz says a geothermal heat pump system installed during construction has already reduced operating costs.

“The energy efficiency improvements were significant, but we also modernized a lot of our facility for the convenience and expectation of travelers,” she says.

The City and Borough of Juneau owns the airport, so about half of the project was paid for with local sales tax revenue. The rest came from state and federal grants.

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