Design firm to tone down transit center plans

Bob Hope Airport commissioners on Monday unanimously approved a $1.5-million contract with a design firm to draw up plans for a new scaled-back transit center.

The center, which will house rental car, bus, rail and taxi services, had to be revised in June when construction bids came in $47 million to $69 million higher than the projected $112-million price tag.

Houston-based Pierce, Goodwin, Alexander & Linville will draft the new plans for the center, which will be built near Hollywood Way and Empire Avenue.

After a reported “fear factor” among contractors that they wouldn’t be able to meet the project’s timeline — prompting some to either submit high bids or drop out altogether — the construction period was extended.

Dan Feger, executive director of the Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena Airport Authority, told commissioners that the original construction schedule would be extended from 18 to 23 months.

Among the structural changes made to the planned center, officials lopped off the fourth floor of the car rental facility and opted for a flat roof rather than a more complex steel-trussed one. They also moved the transit center from the third to the ground floor. Overall, the planned center shed 20% of its mass.

Also, the amount of high-grade steel — which officials said contributed heavily to the higher-than-expected construction bids — was reduced from 16,000 tons to 6,400 tons.

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