Contractor chosen to extend BWI runway for foreign flights

February 08, 1994|By Katherine Richards | Katherine Richards,Sun Staff Writer

An $11.6 million runway extension project at Baltimore-Washington International Airport that will increase foreign flights may be back on track with a new contractor.

The Maryland Aviation Administration last week approved the selection of the Hardaway Co. of Odenton to replace the Driggs Corp. of Capitol Heights, MAA spokeswoman Adrienne Walker-Pittman said.

Unspecified contracting problems caused work to halt last fall and led to the firing of Driggs on Oct. 22.

"The contractor did not complete this season's work as required," Ms. Walker-Pittman said, refusing to elaborate.

Representatives of the Driggs Corp. did not return phone calls yesterday.

"The project was due to be completed summer of '94," Ms. Walker-Pittman said. "It is now late '94."

She said the Hardaway Co. was hired by the Federal Insurance Co., the bonding company for the original contractor.

Dwight Weibel, vice president for northern operations with the Hardaway Co., said the company hopes to begin work by March 1.

The project is scheduled to be completed by Oct. 9.

The runway work will add 500 feet to the east end of Runway 10/28, and 550 feet to its west end. The runway is now 9,452 feet long.

"The extension will allow us to accommodate long-haul aircraft in all types of weather," Ms. Walker-Pittman said.

Currently, she said, BWI cannot accommodate some overseas flights during certain conditions, especially hot, humid weather.

Ms. Walker-Pittman said federal grants will pay for $6.3 million of the project. The rest will come from revenues raised by a $3-per-passenger facility charge assessed on each ticket.

Mr. Weibel said the Hardaway Co. has extensive experience with airport projects, including ones in Miami, Wichita, Kansas, and Tallahassee, Fla., and is working on projects at airports in Atlanta and Memphis.

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