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Minnesota Airport Cleared for $2.54B Overhaul by 2020

Sat April 29, 2000 - Midwest Edition
Megan Nichols

Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport (MSP) is receiving a complete overhaul totaling $2.54 billion. Anticipating that by the year 2020 more than 38 million travelers will use MSP annually, the Metropolitan Airports Commission (MAC) is implementing a plan for renovating or constructing facilities to accommodate this growth.

Many components are integrated into a comprehensive plan, “MSP 2010: Building a Better Airport.” MSP 2010 encompasses improving the airfield and the Lindbergh Terminal, expanding parking and rental car facilities, and building a new Humphrey Terminal.

Even with construction in full swing, MSP serves more than 30 million travelers annually. Keeping the airport fully operational, with no disruption to services, remains a top priority. “Our primary objective is to operate a safe and efficient airport … We obviously have to keep the airport open at all times to serve people. That’s why projects have been prioritized and will be implemented in phases, causing as little disrupting as possible for people,” Nigel Finney, MAC deputy executive director of planning and environment, said.

With more than 100 construction projects currently under way, scheduling take on additional importance. “Because of the size of the master plan, you have contractors, engineers, and departments working with each other in new, different ways. Every project is completely a group effort,” said Jennifer Bagdade, MAC assistant public information officer.

Humphrey Terminal

Scheduled to be complete by March 31, 2001, the new Humphrey Terminal will replace the existing terminal of the same name and will include eight jet gates. During fall 1999, construction began on the $73-million, 32,400-square-meter (360,000 sq. ft.) terminal. It is designed to allow for a future expansion of up to 19 gates.

Miller-Dunwiddie Inc. is the design architect and Kraus Anderson Construction is the construction manager.

According the Michael Ryan, project manager, Miller-Dunwiddie, the terminal is two levels. The entrance to the facility has a 212.3-plus-meter (700 plus ft.) long structural steel and translucent skylight canopy. The first floor main concourse is 9.7 meters high by 9.1 meters wide (32 ft. high by 30 ft.) with full height aluminum and glass curtain wall, exposed steel trussses, custom light fixtures and a terrazzo floor. The terminal’s ticketing hall has 42 ticket positions. It is approximately 19.7 meters (65 ft.) wide with a 9.1-meter (30 ft.) sculptured ceiling. The new baggage claim area has four large baggage carousels and a folding wall that retracts from the ceiling up and down to secure the area for international arrivals.

Work began on site in August 1999 with bid package number one. A very ambitious schedule is driving the project.

“We have multiple contracts on the project,” Denny Probst, director of land site development, added. Richard Knutson Inc. is completing phase one; Knutson Construction Services has bid package two; and Penn-Co. Construction Company, NewMech Mechanical and Kilmer Electric Co. are responsible for bid package three.

Phases of the project are as follows:

• Bid package one, Site — earthwork, site utilities, cargo building modifications

• Bid package two, Concrete — footings, foundation, concrete structure, slab-on-grade

• Bid package three, Building shell, systems, and public space build out — exterior envelope, steel structure, mechanical and electrical systems, interior public space finishes, elevator, escalator, baggage handling system and jet bridges

• Bid package four, Exterior building components, interior build out and systems — entrance canopies, jet bridge foundations, tertirator building, concrete walks land side, concrete paving air side roadway, MAC airline tenant and FIS spaces, interior and exterior static signage, dynamic signage, paging, millwork, fire alarm system (cable and equipment), security system (cable and equipment), and communications voice and data cable.

• Bid package five, Site work, roadway, and service areas — inbound roadway, shuttle bus turnaround, service/loading dock area and roadway, existing Humphrey taxi lane demolition (hydrant fueling by Toltz King Duvall Anderson & Associates Inc.), short term parking and controls relocation, commercial vehicle AVI, new 144 strand fiber cable between Humphrey and Lindbergh, demolition of freight master building, and upgrades to 72nd Street.

• Bid package six, Furnishings — gate hold areas and MAC offices.

By May 2000, the concrete structure (phase one) will be complete. In total, 21,782 cubic meters (28,660 cu. yds.) of concrete will be used. In approximate figures, usage is as follows: 18,666 cubic meters (24,560 cu. yds.) for concrete structure, 1,368 cubic meters (1,800 cu. yds.) for air aide roadway, 1,520 cubic meters (2,000 cu. yds.) for land side inbound roadways, and 228 cubic meters (300 cu. yds.) for miscellaneous jet bridge piers and canopy column footings. Additional work remaining includes building the exterior enclosure face brick and curtain wall, as well as public space.

According to Ryan, the concrete structure wide-module-pan-joist poured-in-place structure is approximately 60 percent complete (bid package two). From bid package three, plumbing and electrical rough-ins are starting, as is the building of the exterior masonry enclosure with CMV backup.

Equipment used to date incudes scrapers, D6 bulldozers, front-end loaders, Hitachi 740 backhoes, a Grove crane, and Link-Belt crane.

After the new terminal opens and the existing terminal is demolished in late 2001, construction will start on a new five-level parking ramp. Plans also call for a light rail station to connect to the new parking ramp and a new, expanded airport employee parking facility. Parking ramps will be connected to the terminal via skyway.


Work began in 1998 to expand parking facilities at the Main Terminal’s east end by 6,500 spaces. The first three floors of the nine-level parking and rental car facility will house the auto rental service center. Approximately 2,000 new public spaces were made available in mid-summer 1999.

M. A. Mortenson of Minneapolis, MN, is doing the forming, placing and finishing of the concrete, masonry and carpentry.

According to Steve DeGroote, Mortenson’s construction executive, the project is an eight-level (above grade), poured-in-place, post-tensioned concrete parking structure. It has a 17.8-centimeter (7 in.) slab with 83.8-centimeter (33 in.) deep beams spaced 8.2 meters (27 ft.) OC. The demolition of the previous one-story, precast ramp, mass rock and earth excavation, and the drilling of the majority of the caissons were completed by a previous bid package during the same time Mortenson was mobilizing onto the site. Demolition of two existing seven-story post-tensioned helixes and the two-story CMU revenue control are included in Mortenson’s portion of the project.

The parking ramp has a precast and metal guardrail facade; 20.3-centimeter (8 in.) concrete paving and asphalt paving complete the ground level. Mortenson also is responsible for pouring the portion of the APM tunnel approximately 188.4 meters (621 ft.) long. This cut and cover tunnel consists of a 60-centimeter (2 ft.) thick mat slab, 4.2-meter (14 ft.) retaining walls, and a pan and joist lid. The structure ends up being covered by 1.2 meters (4 ft.) of soil with a roadway for the rental car busses to utilize.

Mortenson also is constructing the 11 levels of center core structure consisting of waffle slab and two elevator shear cores. The core scope includes eight geared passenger elevators and six escalators.

“One unique aspect of the project is the construction of four poured-in-place, post-tensioned helixes and the connecting link bridges to the existing ramps and the new ramps. Mortenson is self-performing all the forming for these helixes. Mortenson’s contract includes mechanical, electrical, plumbing, communications, life safety and security raceway in the parking ramp and helixes. These services are provided by other bid packages in the center core area and tunnel,” DeGroote said.

The project will require 89,680 cubic meters (118,000 cu. yds.) of concrete not including caissons and site paving. According to Denny Probst, director of land side development, crews are expected to finish this month.

Managing the intricate phasing system and scheduling equipment were important to the project’s progress and the site conditions. According to Probst, as many as five tower cranes were on site at the peak of construction. The major equipment utilized by Mortenson includes the following: four Liebherr 281 tower cranes, one Liebherr 290 tower crane, three 50-metric-ton (55 ton) Grove mobile hydraulic cranes, two 844B Lull all-terrain forklifts, one 2,250-kilogram (5,000 lb.) Clarklift, and one 222 Manitowoc lattice boom crawler crane.


South Parallel Runway

In addition to construction, renovation has been key to MSP: 2010. Ames Construction, Burnsville, MN, and its subcontractors worked around the clock, six days a week — in spite of more than 30 days of weather delays — to complete substantial renovations to the south parallel runway. In September of 1999, the entire 3,033 meters (10,000 ft.) of the runway resumed full operations after five months of reconstruction. The total cost for the two phases of reconstruction was approximately $40 million. During the project, Runway 12R/30L was reduced to 1,880 meters (6,200 ft.) of usable runway length but remained operational throughout construction.

The runway was constructed in the 1950s and 1960s of 20 to 28 centimeters (8 to 11 in.) of concrete with 25.4 centimeters (10 in.) of asphalt added over it in the mid 1970s and early 1980s. Materials have deteriorated because of age and heavy usage. In order to accommodate today’s larger, heavier aircraft as well as the increased traffic loads, the runway was rebuilt with concrete poured at 51 centimeters (20 in.) — more than double the existing pavement.

North/South Runway

A new, $400-million north-south runway is expected to add 25 percent additional capacity for MSP.

The new 2,426-meter (8,000 ft.) runway, numbered 17/35 for its compass headings, is expected to be operational in 2003. The construction of the new runway follows a nine-year federal and state environmental review process. Contractors on the project include Ames Construction and Bolander & Sons.

Future Construction

In 2000, bids for construction costs are projected at $290-million air side and $330-million land side, for a total of $620 million. In 1999, bids for construction totaled $260 million ($70-million air side and $190-million land side), according to Bagdade. Projects are impacting almost every aspect of the airport.

In addition to the North/South Runway, construction will also be progressing on related projects throughout the spring:

• The Green Concourse expansion is a two-phase project that includes 12 new jet gates and 30 gates for regional aircraft. Phase I is comprised of four new gates (June 2000), and Phase II follows with eight additional gates and the Regional Concourse (February 2002).

• The Green-Gold skyway is a heated, enclosed skyway with moving walks. It is scheduled for completion in June 2000.

For more information, about MSP 2010, visit the Web site at

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