Bid For Airport Terminal Tops Budget By 140 Million
By Sherri C. Ranta
The lone bid to complete the $1.5 billion American Airlines North Terminal at Miami International Airport is $140 million more than budgeted and is forcing airline and county officials to rethink their strategy.
Parsons Transportation and Odebrecht Construction, both constructing the South Terminal, jointly bid more than $500 million, far above the $360 million budgeted, said John Cosper, deputy aviation director. Bidding was opened Feb. 3.
Aviation officials hope to have a plan from American within 10 days, he said. Rebidding or subdividing the work is being considered.
"Our goal is to keep the project moving and get the building finished as soon as possible," said Mr. Cosper, an aviation veteran recently hired to coordinate the airport’s $4.8 billion rebuilding.
The joint bidders are experienced companies, he said. "The bid was just way out of the ballpark. I was surprised it was that high."
American officials continue to manage North Terminal construction after saying late last year that they wanted to hand it back to the county due to conflicts with then-aviation director Angela Gittens. She resigned shortly after their comments and public conflicts with County Manager George Burgess.
American and aviation officials consolidated North Terminal work into one bid package in late 2004. The county hoped that would enable American to make one contractor responsible for meeting schedules, dates and budgets. At one point, American had 100 different bid packages for terminal work, county officials said.
First-quarter 2008 is the new county estimate for the terminal’s completion. County officials expect to ask the county commission for more funds and to amend the 1995 agreement putting American in charge of construction for the North Terminal.