Balfour Beatty JV lands $650m US airport job

A joint venture between the US subsidiary of Balfour Beatty and Metcon is to deliver a $650m ($526m) phased construction programme at Raleigh-Durham International Airport (RDU) in North Carolina.

In a construction manager at-risk function for the Raleigh-Durham Airport Authority, Balfour Beatty will work on landside expansion of Terminal 2 (pictured) plus associated roadway and car-parking infrastructure improvements.

“Contracting for the construction programme will be phased through multiple amendments as design, preconstruction and construction activities progress,” Balfour Beatty stated yesterday (29 March).

The contract forms part of RDU’s Vision 2040 strategy to enhance runway and terminal capacity at the airport.

RDU handled 11.8 million passengers in 2022, a year-on-year increase of 35 per cent as air traffic began to rebound after the Covid pandemic.

Starting in 2025, the T2 landside expansion programme includes three sub-phases: expanding the passenger processing and customs infrastructure; building pedestrian bridge and tunnel connections between car parks and Terminal 2; and realigning a main road loop between Terminals 1 and 2.

Also, about 8,000 extra parking spaces will be added, and a multi-level law enforcement and parking operations building will be constructed with covered walkways, new bus shelters and canopies. Construction will begin in late 2023 for completion in 2025, Balfour Beatty noted.

It added that work on improving the road interchange near the terminal area was scheduled to start in 2025.

US construction projects accounted for 34 per cent of Balfour Beatty’s £17.4m order book in 2022. “We’re seeing growth in airports across the piece [in the US],” Balfour Beatty group chief executive Leo Quinn told investors on 15 March during the firm’s 2022 full-year results presentation.

Also under Vision 2040, Balfour Beatty was awarded a contract worth about $400m in February 2022 to relocate and extend the concrete runway at RDU.

The Raleigh-Durham Airport Authority states on its website: “Pending FAA approval, construction on the runway replacement project could begin in 2023 with anticipated opening dates of 2027 for the runway and 2030 for the taxiway.”

But a five-year construction programme can only begin after the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) completes an environmental assessment.

Balfour Beatty’s US business is also part of the JV that is building an automated people mover at Los Angeles International Airport to transport passengers from the car-parking area to terminals, and it is involved in infrastructure improvements at Jacksonville International Airport in Florida.

Construction News approached Balfour Beatty in the US and RDU for further details on the programme.

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