Memphis Airport Eyes Concourse Revamp

Aug. 21--A contractor could begin tearing down surplus gates and concourses at Memphis International Airport by October under a demolition contract that's scheduled for Airport Authority approval Thursday.

A proposed $5.8 million contract with Chris Woods Construction Co. would be the first visible step in a $114 million project to jettison excess space and expand the 1960s-vintage Y-shaped B concourse.

Airport officials last February unveiled the plan to downsize passenger loading and unloading facilities from 85 gates to 60. The project reflects the reality of a smaller operation in the wake of Delta Air Lines' dehubbing last fall.

Officials propose to lop off southward extensions of Concourses A and C and consolidate all airlines in a widened, refreshed Concourse B. Excess gates in northern sections of Concourses A and C would be mothballed. Projected completion date is 2020.

Chris Woods' $6,658,400 bid was the only one received for the demolition. Four other companies expressed interest, but none of them bid.

Brandy Aden, president of A & B Construction Co. Inc., said the project was too big for her firm.

Mark LaGasse, president of LaGasse Construction Inc., said the timing wasn't right for his company, although he was surprised there wasn't competition.

"I can't believe only one company turned in a price," said LaGasse, who recently completed a job for Delta that reduced the airline's gates from 50 to 12.

APAC-Tennessee Inc. and Archer Western, based in Atlanta, also were listed as potential bidders.

Airport managers negotiated Chris Woods' price down to the recommended amount of $5.8 million. The price includes tearing down structures, relocating utilities and installing the apron, a surface for aircraft to taxi and park, where the buildings stood.

Airport president and chief executive officer Scott Brockman said work on Concourse A should begin in 30 to 60 days, assuming the board approves. The Concourse A demolition should be finished by mid 2015.

Copyright 2014 - The Commercial Appeal, Memphis, Tenn.