Feb. 24--Charlotte/Douglas International Airport wants to use an Ohio-based firm to do site work for a third parallel runway, even though its bid was far lower than the airport's estimate for how much the job would cost.
E.S. Wagner bid $43.6 million for the work, which includes clearing the land, leveling the ground and doing storm drainage work. Virginia-based English Construction bid $93.8 million, and Lane Construction Corp. of Connecticut bid $143.6 million.
The airport's engineer estimated the job would cost $76.4 million. Despite the large discrepancies in the bids, aviation director Jerry Orr said he's confident E.S. Wagner will do a good job, and on time.
"Nothing worries me," Orr said. "I looked at the bids very carefully."
Orr said E.S. Wagner, if approved, must finish the job by the fall 2008.
The Charlotte City Council is scheduled to vote on approving the job Monday night.
There will be financial penalties of $10,000 a day for missing deadlines, Orr said, and bonuses for finishing early.
The new runway will allow for three jets to land simultaneously in poor weather.
E.S. Wagner declined to comment about its bid this week. The firm has mostly does road work, though it has done small airport runway jobs in Ohio, according to a company Web site.
After the site work is finished, the airport will seek bids for building the runway. That's expected to cost about $80 million, Orr said.
The runway is slated to open in early 2010.
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