A selection committee is weighing four proposals to replace the Kansas City (MO) International Airport terminal and could recommend a winner as early as Tuesday, according to The Kansas City Star.
The committee has not yet expressed a preference, but the public's attention has been on bids from the AECOM-led KCI Partnership and local engineering firm Burns & McDonnell. KCI said its proposal would be less expensive than Burns & McDonnell's plan over a 30-year period, while the latter focused on savings via private financing, according to the Kansas City Business Journal.
The council must draft a ballot measure, on which it is expected to ask voters to approve demolition and construction using public airport revenue bonds or other financing that excludes taxpayer contributions. Some officials said this November might be too soon to work out project details for a vote.
Kansas City taxpayers have long resisted funding a new terminal. That's likely one reason why Burns & McDonnell's proposal for a public-private partnership back in May was so attractive to city officials. The airport's current 1970s-era, three-terminal configuration is reportedly an inefficient one, leading to long lines at ticket counters and high levels of passenger frustration.
AECOM got wind of the potential deal and made its own proposal to the Kansas City Council, pushing them to initiate a formal bid process. The other two bidders are teams led by Clark Construction subsidiary Edgemoor Infrastructure & Real Estate and Jones Lang LaSalle, which also includes Gensler and Hensel Phelps.
However, the selection process hit a snag last week, according to The Star, when AECOM accused the selection committee of "moving the goalposts" by asking them questions about their bid's financial components, ostensibly allowing other teams the opportunity to change their proposals accordingly. City officials responded that it was standard procedure to ask follow-up questions.
Some airports are opting for public-private partnerships to help them undertake the larger overhauls they need but that the typically smaller federal grants can't cover. New York's LaGuardia Airport is using the delivery method for a $4 billion Central Terminal upgrade.