The St. Clair County Public Building Commission on Thursday held off on a vote on whether to move forward with planned passenger terminal improvements at MidAmerica Airport because bids for the project came in higher than expected.
The estimated $835,000 project is slated to be paid for with a Federal Aviation Administration improvement program grant. The FAA will pay 90 percent of the cost. Local dollars will pick up the remainder of the cost, according to airport documents.
MidAmerica Airport Director Tim Cantwell said the project is now expected to be put out for bid again next year.
In April, the commission approved hiring Crawford, Murphy & Tilly Inc., to complete professional services for the project for $60,000.
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Commissioners on Thursday did approve an airfield side service road construction project.
The 3,663-foot road project is planned in order to connect the general aviation apron to the passenger apron, and eliminate routine vehicular traffic from traveling on the taxiway and reduce the potential for incursions, according to airport documents. The project was estimated to cost $1.4 million, with $1.2 million planned for construction, and $197,000 planned for design and construction costs.
The board recommended the construction portion of project be awarded to Christ Brothers Asphalt of Lebanon, for $1.23 million.
St. Clair County Administrator Debra Moore said the full county board is scheduled to consider the project at its meeting later this month.
The FAA is slated to pay for 90 percent of the project; with the state chipping in 5 percent of the costs, and the local dollars covering the remaining amount.
MidAmerica is able to access the federal dollars because it has surpassed 10,000 passenger boardings in a year.
So far in 2016, 51,000 passenger boardings have taken place at MidAmerica, which leads to more than 100,000 people going through the airport when counting incoming passengers, Cantwell said.
Cantwell also added fuel sales have reached 1.2 million gallons, so far this year.
“It’s the quickest we’ve done in the history of the airport,” Cantwell said.
With traffic increasing at the airport, Cantwell said it is key to get fuel trucks and other non-aviation traffic off of taxiways.
“It’s a safety issue,” Cantwell said. “Right now we have fuel trucks using taxiways that airplanes use. The control on that is good, but with traffic increasing, we want to make sure we demarcate the fuel trucks and their access to the fuel farm, moving around to other airplanes, plus our maintenance.”