Over $200 Million Approved for John Glenn Airport Terminal

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Construction of the $2 billion John Glenn International Airport is in progress, with funding for multiple million-dollar contracts being approved ahead of an early 2025 groundbreaking of the John Glenn Airport Terminal in Ohio.

The board of the Columbus Regional Airport Authority voted on Tuesday to approve multiple pieces of funding related to its terminal. Among them were a $51 million contract for an aircraft apron and taxi lanes and $150 million more for the construction manager Hensel Phelps, after $250 million was approved in January. “It’s moving forward, and we’re very excited,” stated Kristen Easterday, the communications director for the airport authority. “I think the whole community is going to be very excited, “he added.

John Glenn Airport Terminal Receives Approval

Secondly, as the board prepares to replace a terminal that dates to the 1950s, it approved funds for the creation of an aircraft apron and taxi lanes. The project will help with the integration of the 36-gate terminal, the chief planning and engineering officer told the board. “We have quite a bit of apron work that has to be built that connects the terminal to the existing airfield,” Tom McCarthy said.

Additionally, the authority tabbed Zanesville-based Shelly and Sands for the project, approving a contract worth $51.8 million for its construction. Originally falling under Hensel Phelps’ scope, the FAA requested the work be bid to a different firm. President Joe Biden’s $1.2 trillion infrastructure package is helping foot the bill, according to McCarthy.

“The federal government passed the bipartisan infrastructure law that allows money to go to certain entities, including airports, for projects such as this,” McCarthy said. “75% of this is being covered by the federal government. “He added.

Moreover, approved was a $149,009,402 amendment to the $2 billion contract with Hensel Phelps, the third wave of funding toward its final total. While the entire contract is already in place, the board is approving the funding through multiple stages.  “Our team reviews every single package they bring to us to make sure they’re hitting the commitments around diversity, participation and things like that, making sure they’ve really got the best quality subcontractors,” Easterday said. The third wave is for roadway and associated ground projects. Also included is electrical, roadway signage, sanitary sewer, waterline connections and preconstruction efforts.

Key Timelines of the Airport Terminal Project

Moreover, as the terminal project was ramping up at the start of 2024, local trade unions pushed for a community benefit agreement. At a March board meeting, speakers on both sides of the labor dispute delivered remarks as negotiations stalled. The authority did not give a definitive update on its efforts to reach an agreement at its Tuesday meeting. “We are moving forward with every single bid package that our board approves,” Easterday said when asked about CBA negotiations.”

Lastly, on Thursday, the Columbus Building and Construction Trades Council officially announced negotiations had been stalled indefinitely. “Unfortunately for Columbus and Franklin County, workers, and our region, CEO [Joe] Nardone and CRAA refused to agree to CBA protections against mistreatment and wage theft,” Dorsey Hager of the trades council stated.

But not all thought it was necessary. Barton Hacker of the Associated Builders and Contractors said the airport is right not to pursue an agreement. “We’re very supportive of the airport’s continued insistence on not putting a CBA in place,” Hacker said. “The CBA would be a terrible idea. It will not benefit our community at all, despite what it’s called. “he added.

“We made commitments around making sure people were paid appropriately with the prevailing wage and fringe benefits, everyone would be paid who worked on the project appropriately,” Easterday said. “The other thing is that we were really strong around diverse business participation. We set our goal at 25% and now, with this third package approved, we are exceeding that.”

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