Guam amid U.S. military-driven $8.7B construction boom
- As part of a plan for a significant realignment of American military forces in the Pacific, $8.7 billion of construction — spread across approximately 60 projects — is underway on the U.S. island territory of Guam, according to Stars and Stripes. Approximately $500 million worth of projects has already been completed.
- Projects include $165 million of site preparation and utilities — currently underway by U.S.-based joint venture Granite-Obayashi; barracks; power upgrades; a new Marine base; training ranges; $128 million of work at Andersen Air Force base, including a parking apron for Marine aircraft and an aviation maintenance hangar; $97 million of site and utility improvements at Apra Harbor, which supports Marine activity from Navy ships; an $18 million waterfront complex; a $78 million training range; a $56.7 million dental and medical clinic and a residential neighborhood. Hundreds of millions of dollars will also go toward improving civilian areas on the island.
- When work is complete between 2022 and 2026, U.S. military facilities on Guam will absorb approximately 4,100 Marines from their current base of operations on the Japanese island of Okinawa, with other troops being sent to the Japanese and U.S. mainlands, Hawaii, Australia and a remote section of Okinawa, although there have been serious protests by residents against that portion of the plan. The Japanese, eager to see a reduced American military presence on Okinawa, have contributed a reported $3 billion total toward the realignment initiative's construction costs.
Military construction can be a lucrative segment for contractors. Based on 2016 revenue from military-related projects, Building Design + Construction's most recent ranking of the top military construction contractors has Fluor listed as No. 1 at $763.2 million, followed by Gilbane Building Co. ($421 million), Hensel Phelps ($328 million), The Walsh Group ($323 million), Clark Group ($236 million), Lendlease ($205 million), Turner Construction Co. ($141.7 million), McCarthy Holdings ($122 million) and Whiting-Turner Contracting ($119.7 million).
In fact, last year, AECOM announced that it had formed a federal contracting division of which military construction plays a part. AECOM's pursuit of military contracts most recently took the company outside the U.S. when last month, under the direction of Vern Kuehn, executive vice president and general manager of the federal division, the U.S. Navy announced in June that it had awarded the company the contract to build an airport parking apron and support facilities at an air force base in Darwin, the capital of Australia's Northern Territory. The contract is valued at up to approximately $24 million.
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