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Friday, April 18, 2014

Dondlinger is low bidder for new Wichita airport terminal

Intrust Bank Arena builders Dondlinger, Hunt are low bidders on new terminal at Wichita Mid-Continent Airport

By Hurst Laviana
The Wichita Eagle

Two construction companies that teamed up to build the Intrust Bank Arena are the low bidders on the new terminal building at Mid-Continent Airport, city officials said Friday.

The bid of $99.37 million was submitted by Wichita-based Dondlinger & Sons Construction and Hunt Construction Group, based in Scottsdale, Ariz.

Nine other bids on the terminal ranged from $101.59 million to $141.59 million. Eight of the bids were between $101 million and $109 million – well below the $150 million to $160 million estimates that had been discussed publicly in recent years.

Although an engineer’s cost estimate on the project has not yet been made public, city officials said all the bids were within that estimate.

The Dondlinger-Hunt bid will be reviewed by the Federal Aviation Administration and Wichita city and airport officials. The Wichita City Council is expected to award the contract in late April or early May, with groundbreaking expected in June.

City Manager Robert Layton attended the bid opening in the City Council chambers at City Hall and was pleased with the numbers.

“We have some good bids and we’re ready to move forward,” he said. “Obviously, this is good news.”

Airport officials have said the new two-story terminal is needed, in part, because of Homeland Security Department requirements that have created a need for more behind-the-scenes baggage inspection areas. Officials said that electrical, heating and cooling systems at the airport are outdated, and carriers complained about a lack of counter space and room for expansion. A new terminal also will provide a spacious greeting area for arriving travelers.

The terminal will be paid for with passenger fees, facility charges, airport revenue, rents, landing fees and Federal Aviation Administration and Department of Homeland Security grants. Officials said renovating the existing 50-year-old terminal would cost about $150 million.

In 2007, Dondlinger and Hunt submitted a bid of about $138 million for construction of the downtown arena and improvements to surrounding streets. The bid, which was the only one submitted on that project, was accepted by the Sedgwick County Commission.

Reach Hurst Laviana at 316-268-6499 or hlaviana@wichitaeagle.com.

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