County could take over terminal construction soon
Sherri C. Ranta
County commissioners could decide June 21 to take over the American Airlines
North Terminal construction project at Miami International Airport.
plan to consider contracts that would put the $1.9 billion project into the
county's hands, hire Parsons-Odebrecht Joint Venture as managing general contractor
with a completion date of 2009 and retain Alpha Construction and Engineering
to handle all claims associated with American's tenure, said George Burgess,
proposed agreements come after months of negotiations with American Airlines.
Initially, there did not seem to be interest on the part of American to provide
additional funding, but Mr. Burgess said Monday that airline officials are now
new agreements, American would pay $110 million to the county over the next
10 years to mitigate costs associated with construction delays and contractor
claims while in charge of the North Terminal.
we put on the table is a fair number," Mr. Burgess said. The money will
be above what American Airlines would pay in fees to use the new terminal once
it is completed. Provisions in the contracts provide alternative ways to recover
the money if American goes into bankruptcy.
will be asked to approve a $542 million contract with Parsons-Odebrecht, which
includes a lump-sum fee of $36.7 million plus labor costs of $52.6 million.
Burgess said he is pleased with the proposed contract with Parsons, managing
contractor for the South Terminal project scheduled for completion in March.
company's contract, if approved by commissioners, would be worth $48 million
less than what the companies had submitted in a bid to the county earlier this
year. "They can jump over and step in fairly quickly," he said. "Time
also will be asked to approve a contract with Alpha Construction and Engineering,
which will be retained to handle claims generated while American Airlines was
in charge of the project.
pursuing every avenue available to make sure all parties step up and assume
responsibility," Mr. Burgess said.
is "plenty of blame to go around," the county manager said regarding
the North Terminal project, which is running over budget and behind schedule.
The structure in place "simply wasn't working," Mr. Burgess said.
"We needed to have a more streamlined, collective approach."
may have to deal with complaints from Turner-Austin, a joint venture serving
as American's managing contractor, which did not submit a bid for the North
Terminal project when the county and American sought to consolidate the bids
earlier this year.
actually making rumblings that they would like to participate," Mr. Burgess
said. He said the companies' performance on the project was "less than