Bids for parking lot construction at airport on council agenda

The Abilene City Council will consider approving bids this Thursday for the construction of a new parking lot at Abilene Regional Airport.

The airport's board of directors reviewed the bids during a special meeting Friday and recommended Epic Construction's low bid of $5.6 million. That price tag includes the cost of providing covering for all the spaces in the lot, improving drainage around the terminal and road work.

Don Green, director of aviation, said he hopes the project will begin in mid-November. It will probably take nine months to complete.

The contractor will begin the project by constructing a remote lot with 450 spaces north of Eagle Aviation Services' facilities on Airport Boulevard.

Once the remote lot is complete, the lot closest to the terminal will close so it can be reconstructed. Passengers will be shuttled from the remote lot to the terminal, Green said.

The terminal's new lot will have 730 spaces, which includes about 100 spaces for rental cars.

Next week, the airport's lower level will be closed and the upper level will open so an escalator and canopy structure can be constructed, Green said.

While the lower level is closed, golf carts will shuttle passengers from the parking lot to the upper level. Cars will not be allowed to park on the upper level.

"I just want to remind passengers who are flying out of Abilene that when all this construction is going on, to allow plenty of time to catch the shuttle," Green said.

Green said a use for the remote lot's 450 spaces once the new terminal lot is complete hasn't been determined, but the airport is discussing a number of possibilities.