Smoot Set for Rickenbacker Traffic Control Tower, If Project Takes Off
January 22, 2014
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  • The Columbus Regional Airport Authority hopes to hire Columbus-based Smoot Construction Co. to manage construction of an air traffic control tower at Rickenbacker International Airport if the airport’s operator moves ahead with the project.

    The authority’s facilities committee Wednesday will review plans to hire Smoot as construction manager at-risk for the estimated $6.1 million project. According to the committee’s agenda, Smoot and Turner Construction emerged as finalists for the project, which calls for an estimated $860,000 construction management fee above the construction costs.

    The airport, however, has yet to fully commit to the project.

    Authority spokeswoman Angie Tabor tells me the construction manager is working with architects from CTBX Aviation Group to prepare more detailed cost estimates.

    “We’re still in the process of identifying firm costs for this construction project,” Tabor said, an effort expected to last at least through March. “At that point we may decide not to move forward.”

    The airport has put $4.2 million for the project in its 2014 capital budget. A port authority briefing shows planners expect the project to take two construction seasons, so the authority board would need to include more funding in its 2015 budget.

    The airport authority has asked for money – but not received it – from the Pentagon because the Ohio Air National Guard remains a principal user of the runway. Attempts to get project funds as part of a regional lobbying effort failed in 2010.

    But the authority landed a $1 million grant through the state in 2011, Tabor said, used in part to find a site for the proposed 100-foot-high tower. That study decided a location near the airport’s 63-year-old tower atop a former military facility, she said.