High bids, tribal concerns slow LR airport project

LITTLE ROCK, AR (AP) - Higher-than-expected construction bids and concerns from an Oklahoma-based American Indian tribe are slowing a project to build a new maintenance building at Little Rock National Airport.

The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reported Monday that documents indicate planning for the project has been underway for at least 16 years. Officials have determined an existing maintenance building blocks the view of one taxiway from air traffic controllers.

Last week, airport officials found bids submitted by three contractors were almost $4 million more than the $7.5 million a building engineer estimated the building would cost to build.

The Quapaw Tribe also is concerned about the historical and cultural significance of the planned site for the building and has requested a detailed archaeological survey.

Airport executive director Ron Mathieu says the project is "not going forward."


Information from: Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, http://www.arkansasonline.com

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)