Kibler to work on BWI cargo complex Finksburg firm lands $15.8 million contract

Air transportation

June 25, 1998|By Kristine Henry | Kristine Henry,SUN STAFF

The state Board of Public Works cleared the way yesterday for work to begin on a new cargo facility that will increase handling capacity at Baltimore-Washington International Airport by more than 60 percent.

The board awarded a $15.8 million site preparation contract to Kibler Construction Co. Inc. of Finksburg.

"We worked hard on that job," said project manager Rick Talbot. "The boss is happy, so I'm happy. The champagne was uncorked."

BWI's 395,000 square feet of cargo warehouse and office space is near capacity, with less than a 1 percent vacancy rate.

The new Midfield Cargo Complex is expected to add four buildings totaling 240,000 square feet, with the possibility of adding that much more if demand is high.

Air cargo at BWI rose 28 percent last year, reaching nearly 354 million pounds and doubling the gains of 1996.

Karen Black, a spokeswoman for BWI, said the air cargo business at the airport accounts for about 1,000 jobs in the state and adds $82 million to the economy every year.

With the creation of the new facility, she said, those numbers are expected to double by 2015.

Black said one carrier, which she declined to identify, has written a letter showing interest in the new space but that no formal agreements have been reached.

Kibler's project will prepare the site for the new buildings. The family-owned company will excavate more than 2 million cubic yards of dirt, build roads and taxiways, and install water mains and other utilities.

The Maryland Aviation Administration is preparing a request for bids for construction of the buildings, which are expected to cost $5 million to $10 million each.

Kibler's project should be completed by the end of next year, and the entire project should be completed in mid- to late 2000.

Kibler, established in 1962, has 76 full-time employees. Talbot said the company will hire six to 12 people to help work on the cargo complex.

Pub Date: 6/25/98

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