Charleston airport $150m terminal upgrade delayed

2 May 2012 (Last Updated May 2nd, 2012 18:30)

A $150m upgrade at the Charleston International Airport in the US has been delayed after the Charleston County Aviation Authority refused to sign the contract.

A $150m upgrade at the Charleston International Airport in the US has been delayed after the Charleston County Aviation Authority refused to sign the contract.

The board has declined to sign the 170+ page contract from the team, led by Dallas-based Austin Commercial, because of technical reasons, reports The Post and Courier.

Austin Commercial has partnered with Hitt Contracting to bid for the upgrade project.

Airport board chairman Chip Limehouse said it's a $150m contract, so the board is going to dot all of its i's and cross all of its t's.

"We are not going to make any hasty decisions," Limehouse added.

The board's March choice to award the contract to Austin-Hitt team was protested by the runner-up bidders, a team led by Holder Construction of Atlanta with local partners Mashburn Construction, CCCS and Cumming, last month.

The runners-up have indicated that they will re-file the protest if the board goes ahead and signs the contract.

The team claimed that Joey Jefferson's presence on the board had influenced the deal in favour of the Austin-Hitt team, in which the former board member's firm Palmetto Civil Group is a partner.

Limehouse, however, claimed that Jefferson did not appear at the March meeting where the contract was awarded and has no role in deciding the contract award.

The terminal upgrade work was originally expected begin at the end of this year and is expected to be completed by the end of 2014.

Bonds issued on revenue generated from parking, rental cars and airline passenger fees at the airport will fund the upgrade project.