Two new concourses at BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport will allow for more international service.
Two new concourses at BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport will allow for more international service. (Barbara Haddock Taylor, Baltimore Sun)

A $105 million contract for the reconstruction of two concourses at BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport — meant to allow for more international service — was approved Wednesday by the Board of Public Works.

The contract went to Greenbelt-based Whiting-Turner Contracting Co.

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The project will create a new connector between concourses D and E at the airport — with two new gates that will be able to "swing" between international and domestic service — as well as a new security checkpoint capable of handling international and domestic travelers.

"This construction contract is another great example that Maryland is open for business," Gov. Larry Hogan said. "By investing in BWI, we are creating jobs and growing the state's economy with a key project that will meet the increasing demands of expanded international and domestic travel for years to come."

Paul J. Wiedefeld, BWI's CEO, said the airport is "moving quickly to provide excellent customer service and to accommodate increasing international air service."

The airport has seen increased international service during the past year and expects more to come.

Southwest Airlines launched its first international flights out of BWI last year, and expects to add more out of Baltimore as it expands its service to the Caribbean in coming years.

The two new international gates that are part of the connector project are expected to be operational by next year, the airport said. The entire project is expected to be concluded in 2017.

Whiting-Turner was not the lowest bidder on the contract — Bethesda-based Clark Construction Co. came in at about $103 million — but "consistently ranked the highest" in the bidding process because of its experience, including on airport contracts, according to an expedited procurement report presented to the Board of Public Works.

The original engineer's estimate on the project was closer to $97.5 million, but Whiting-Turner's proposal included costs for "double shifts" because of the "complexity of the project and the aggressive schedule," the report said.

Two other contractors put in bids that were higher than Whiting-Turner's.

The contract was accepted without discussion at a Board of Public Works meeting in which Hogan slammed other proposed procurements for not being competitively bid.

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