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    Wednesday, February 20, 2019-6:41:06A.M.

     

     

     

     

     

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Guam airport project: $40M over budget, 9 months behind

HAGÅTÑA (The Guam Daily Post) — The construction of the third-floor corridor for arriving international passengers at the A.B. Won Pat International Airport is now $40 million over the originally estimated cost of the project, and nine months behind schedule.

Tom Ada, acting executive manager of the A.B. Won Pat Guam International Airport Authority, told The Guam Daily Post that the original cost of the project was estimated to be about $70 million.

"However, when the bids came in, the lowest one was $97 million," he said. "And that was just for construction."

The design costs came to another $9 million and the construction management agreement was $4 million more.

It adds up to $110 million, which is roughly the same amount GIAA borrowed in bonds for multiple airport improvement projects.

The bond funds were supposed to pay not only for the still-ongoing corridor project, but to cover the cost of a parking garage and commuter terminal as well.

As a result of the cost overrun on the third-floor corridor, "those other two projects are going to have to be deferred," said Ada.

The corridor project was supposed to be done by September of this year. Now it's not expected to be completed until June 2020.

"About 75 percent of the contracted construction time has elapsed, and we've only completed 50 percent of the project," Ada said.

'Enough blame to go around'

Among the factors that contributed to the $40 million cost overrun, said Ada, was "the assumption that H-2 labor would be available."

The lack of H-2 workers has been "a significant contributing factor," Ada said.

In addition, he said the original $70 million estimate for the project may have been "underestimated."

Ada said there have also been some issues with the construction.

"A major part of the problem is that the original architectural drawings for the building don't match what was actually built."

When the contractor went to work and "started opening ceilings and walls," what they found "differed significantly" from the original architectural drawings.

So the design for the third-floor corridor had to be adjusted accordingly, which Ada said caused some delays.

Ada said he was made aware of some of these construction issues before he accepted the position. "I'm sure there is enough blame to go around," he said. Since Ada took over last week, his focus has been on devising a recovery plan so the corridor project can be completed "sooner than what is being projected right now."