The cost to repair the three-year-old Silver Ramp at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport has risen by more than $1 million to nearly $5 million, according to Metropolitan Airports Commission (MAC) officials.
The $245 million, 11-story parking and multimodal facility, which opened in 2020, has won many architectural awards for its glittering design, and is easily spotted from Hwy. 5. It features Minnesota's longest escalator and includes some 3,500 parking spaces at Terminal 1, MSP's main hub.
After discovering water ponding issues and concrete barriers that could potentially crack, airport officials last April took the unusual step of firing the project's main contractor, PCL Construction Services Inc., a global firm with an office in Edina. It was the first time the MAC has severed a contract of this sort in more than two decades.
While the commission has spent about $3.25 million repairing problem areas, it discovered more work is necessary to complete the job, said Heather Leide, MAC's director of Airport Development. So the MAC's Planning, Development and Environment Committee on Monday approved an additional $1.45 million to repair more concrete barrier posts between levels 2 and 11.
The full commission will vote on the measure later this month. The repairs are being funded by general airport revenue bonds.
PCL Construction sued the MAC last April in Hennepin County District Court in an effort to recover payment for work on the Silver Ramp. The firm said in its complaint that work was "significantly delayed for reasons outside of its control, including by acts of the MAC and its agents, resulting in millions of dollars of additional costs being incurred by PCL."
Many of the issues encountered during construction were related to faulty design and weather delays, PCL's complaint states.
The case was dismissed, and the two parties are now in arbitration to reach an agreement regarding the repair costs.
In a statement, PCL attorney Robert Smith said, "PCL remains confident in its position and looks forward to finding a mutually agreeable resolution with the MAC."
MAC officials have said the issues don't affect the ramp's structural integrity. Repair work will occur in the spring and summer to allow the concrete and patching material to properly cure.
"The work is on the outside of the deck, so it won't take a lot of space," Leide said. "There won't be significant impact to parking."
The repairs come as air travel continues to improve after being decimated by the COVID-19 pandemic. The MAC reported last week that 2022 passenger activity exceeded more than 31 million passengers, a 24% increase when compared with the previous year.
The 2022 tally marks a nearly 80% recovery from pre-pandemic passenger levels, as domestic routes were restored and international travel rebounded, MAC officials said last week.