News Ticker

Sky Harbor Preps for $700M Sky Train Proj.

Courtesy of City of PHX Aviation Dept.

By Rebekah Morris for Arizona Builder’s Exchange

Thursday afternoon, the City of Phoenix issued a CMAR RFP for Sky Train Phase II. The project has a programmed amount of $700M, which includes all design, construction, furnishings, etc. The development will add approximately 2 miles of new guideway and fixed facilities, extending the service from Terminal 3 across I-10 to the Rental Car Facility.

Untenable Situation

The Sky Train Phase II project has been planned for years, the impetus for moving it forward at this time is ‘an untenable situation’ according to Kyle Kotchou, Deputy Aviation Director, Design and Construction Services for Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport. Wait times for passengers wishing to move from Terminal 4 to the rental car facility are topping 30-minutes at peak times – not an “acceptable customer service experience.” By 2021, without improving the service levels, the airport would be in a state of gridlock.

Last October, the next phase of Sky Train made its way through subcommittee approval, the Phoenix Aviation Advisory Board, and finally the City Council Policy.

Gannett Fleming is leading the design team on this second phase of the project, carrying forward their experiences from Phase I.

Scope & Schedule of the Project

Not unexpectedly, the Airport won’t be shutting down in order to build the Sky Train project. “Airport operations come first; construction comes second,” said Kotchou. The complex project includes the following major scope items:

  • New guideway and track heading west from Terminal 3, extending past a future terminal and West Ground Transportation Center, crossing under I-10 and terminating at the existing Rental Car Center.
  • Two new stations (a West Ground Transportation Center and the Rental Car Center Station) and a partial buildout of a third station (future West Terminal).
  • Roadway modifications, minor facility relocations and primary power. Enabling work will include demolition and may include environmental remediation.

The CMAR RFP

Thursday afternoon, the City of Phoenix issued a CMAR RFP for Sky Train Phase II. The project has a programmed amount of $700M, which includes all design, construction, furnishings, etc. The development will add approximately 2 miles of new guideway and fixed facilities, extending the service from Terminal 3 across I-10 to the Rental Car Facility.

Untenable Situation

The Sky Train Phase II project has been planned for years, the impetus for moving it forward at this time is ‘an untenable situation’ according to Kyle Kotchou, Deputy Aviation Director, Design and Construction Services for Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport. Wait times for passengers wishing to move from Terminal 4 to the rental car facility are topping 30-minutes at peak times – not an “acceptable customer service experience.” By 2021, without improving the service levels, the airport would be in a state of gridlock.

Last October, the next phase of Sky Train made its way through subcommittee approval, the Phoenix Aviation Advisory Board, and finally the City Council Policy.

Gannett Fleming is leading the design team on this second phase of the project, carrying forward their experiences from Phase I.

Scope & Schedule of the Project

Not unexpectedly, the Airport won’t be shutting down in order to build the Sky Train project. “Airport operations come first; construction comes second,” said Kotchou. The complex project includes the following major scope items:

  • New guideway and track heading west from Terminal 3, extending past a future terminal and West Ground Transportation Center, crossing under I-10 and terminating at the existing Rental Car Center.
  • Two new stations (a West Ground Transportation Center and the Rental Car Center Station) and a partial buildout of a third station (future West Terminal).
  • Roadway modifications, minor facility relocations and primary power. Enabling work will include demolition and may include environmental remediation.

The CMAR RFP was released Thursday, and proposals are due back to the City on Feb 24th. The final CMAR selection is expected in June, and notice to proceed will follow in July, 2017. The design is already well underway, with completion expected in mid-2018. Construction will run from mid-2017 through the end of 2020, and testing of the system will extend into late 2021.

Accommodating Future Projects

Thoughtful design and planning efforts show in the current scope of the Sky Train project. The path of the tracks is designed to dive under future airport taxiways Uniform & Victor (U & V). A West Ground Transportation Center, which includes an Administration Building, Command Center, Facilities & Operations Site and Parking Garages, is also not part of this contract, but is planned for in the design. The existing Rental Car Center was designed to allow for the Sky Train terminus. Late last summer, PGAL, LLC was awarded a design contract to reconfigure the Rental Car Center.

The Command Center broke ground this month. The West Ground Transportation Center, Facilities Operations Center and Taxiways U & V are major projects planned for 2022 or later. The timeline for the future terminal is unknown.

The system provider, Bombardier, has significant scope related to this project as well. Within their scope is expanding the maintenance facility by an estimated two bays and additional PHX Sky Train cars.

From the Top: Use SBE & DBE Firms

Two meetings, entitled ‘Opportunity Knocks,’ were held in December to engage the SBE community with the upcoming opportunities. The City of Phoenix is committed to using SBE firms on all of its projects, and large-scale projects like the Sky Train Phase II hold tremendous opportunity for subcontractors. There will be a mandated SBE goal – to be determined at the end of the design phase – for the construction services portion of the work. That goal will be determined at the end of the design phase. There are no goals for DBE & SBE usage on the design contract.

was released Thursday, and proposals are due back to the City on Feb 24th. The final CMAR selection is expected in June, and notice to proceed will follow in July, 2017. The design is already well underway, with completion expected in mid-2018. Construction will run from mid-2017 through the end of 2020, and testing of the system will extend into late 2021.

City Expectations of the Successful CMAR

The City is looking for experience in its future CMAR for the project. Not only firm experience, but staff experience is paramount. With many stakeholders, excellent communication and execution of the project with substantial input and owner participation is critical. Quality construction is defined as on time and on budget, sustainable, and includes participation by SBE firms.

All that while minimizing airport disruptions…. Piece of cake, right?

NOTE: Paid subscribers receive additional project details in our twice-weekly PDF publication, including project stakeholder information and valuable project bidding leads. Find out more about AZBEX subscriptions or contact Rebekah Morris at rmorris@azbex.com or (480) 709-4190

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