Bob Hope Airport officials missed by millions when they estimated the costs of a proposed four-story transportation hub because of unrealistic expectations, last-minute design changes and unaddressed inflation concerns, according to contractors who sought the job.
General contractors who qualified to bid for the airport’s Regional Intermodal Transportation Center said uncertain costs for 15,000 tons of extra-strength steel and a flurry of last-minute design alterations prompted them to either walk away or submit bids 40% to 60% above what the airport had hoped for. Bids came in $47 million to $75 million above the projected $112 million price tag for construction of a one-stop hub for train, taxi, bus and rental car travelers.
“We dropped out because there were a lot of changes that came in toward the end, and a lot of questions we asked that never got answered,” said one representative for a contractor who declined to be identified to protect his company’s future prospects. “Contractors weigh risk, and the risk was greater than we wanted to deal with.”