ELWOOD – The South Jersey Transportation Authority today awarded a $24.6 million contract to Weatherby Construction & Renovation Corp. of Ventnor for the design and construction of an approximately 1,400-space parking garage at the Atlantic City International Airport.
Weatherby Construction was among the four companies that submitted design build proposals for the parking garage construction.
The other companies that submitted proposals were Shoemaker Construction Company of Conshohocken, Pa., with a proposal of $25.7 million, Baumgardner Construction Company Inc. of Egg Harbor Township, N.J., with a proposal of $31.4 million and Prismatic Development Corporation of Fairfield, N.J., with a proposal of $36.8 million.
After accepting a first round of cost proposals in late 2005, the Authority issued an addendum to the RFP allowing a wider variety of construction techniques including both poured-in-place and pre-cast construction.
Weatherby Construction, utilizing a hybrid construction method, submitted the lowest qualified cost proposal in both submissions.
The South Jersey Transportation Authority assumed direct responsibility for parking operations from a private vendor as of April 1, 2005. During the last year, the SJTA has established continuous shuttle service from parking lots to the terminal, hired customer service ambassadors to assist travelers and added 1,000 surface parking spaces.
Still, parking at the airport is stretched during peak travel times and will be further stretched when other airline carriers, attracted by the growth of the Atlantic City and Southern New Jersey market, begin, as expected, to offer flights out of the Atlantic City Airport.
The Atlantic City Airport has experienced a dramatic increase in passengers over the last several years, with about a million passengers moving through the airport annually. SJTA estimates that utilization of the airport could increase by 60 percent or more with the expected addition of new airlines and new airline routes.
In order to accommodate this expected growth, the Authority is in the midst of a major expansion and improvement program. Among the improvements the Authority has made are full instrument guidance on Runways 13 and 31, a new taxiway, improved lighting on the flight ramps, and construction of a new baggage screening and sorting structure to house security equipment for the Transportation Security Administration and give the airlines more space for efficient loading of flights. Included in this project is installation of a second escalator near the baggage claim area, which will improve terminal traffic flow for travelers.
Permitting and final design on the parking garage is expected to begin in August 2006 and construction will begin in early 2007. The Authority will install E-ZPass Plus technology in the new garage, affording airport passengers quick and easy access to and from the parking facility.