Indy's $1 Billion Airport Has Persistent Problem

INDIANAPOLIS --

Xs mark the spot of a persistent problem with Indianapolis' $1 billion airport.

The Weir Cook Terminal has a leaking roof that airport employees said has become a problem every time it rains heavily, 6News' Dan Spehler reported.

While beautiful and enormous, workers and visitors to the terminal are coping with the problem one drip at a time.

A leaky roof has led to passenger concern that the facility may have a larger structural issue.

"If they're going to invest a lot of money, they should at least make it right," said one airport visitor.

Several airport employees who declined to talk on camera told 6News that leaks have been pervasive most of the spring and as snow melted in the winter.

On several visits to the airport on different days, 6News found multiple locations where the roof was clearly leaking near the ticket counter and baggage claim areas.

Indianapolis Airport Authority spokeswoman Susan Sullivan acknowledged there are multiple problem areas.

"We've marked the spots on some of the floors … so that the contractors know specifically where the leaks are occurring and they can go and make the permanent repairs," she said. "This is not at all unusual for any type of new construction, whether you build a new home or you build a new airport terminal."

Similar roof leak problems were encountered shortly after the construction of Lucas Oil Stadium. Some areas of that building flooded before the first games were ever played there.

In some cases, construction problems lead to lawsuits, such as the one in which the Marion County Library lost a $50 million suit against a contractor after it settled with others.

Airport officials said the terminal's issues don't constitute contractor negligence.

"It's not a flaw in the construction process, not a situation where the contractor was negligent," Sullivan said. "As with any new construction, materials settle. They contract and expand. We haven't gone through a full cycle of the seasons yet."

Permanent repairs are being made as warmer, drier weather allows. Officials from Hunt Construction said that they have already made several repairs to the 600,000-square-foot roof.

Twenty-nine different areas where the roof was leaking were identified. Hunt said it had fixed all but three.

Airport officials said they haven't received complaints from customers about any damage or injuries.

Copyright 2009 by TheIndyChannel.com All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Loading