Best Airports/Transit Project: The Green Build Expansion at San Diego International Airport, San Diego

Photo by Tim Griffith
The project was completed on time and nearly $45 million under budget.

The $907-million expansion was the largest project in the airport's history. Completed on time and nearly $45 million under budget, it is also the first LEED-Platinum-certified commercial airport terminal in the world.

The project, which started construction during the Great Recession, benefited the community with over $415 million in contracts going to local businesses, according to project executives.

Two contracting teams, via separate contracts, built a 460,000-sq-ft terminal expansion with 10 wide-body airline gates, a concessions space with floor-to-ceiling windows facing the airfield and a security checkpoint that doubles the capacity of the old facility.

Infrastructure enhancements include 1.3 million sq ft of aircraft aprons and taxiways, constructed on a brownfield site; an expansion of the central utility plant; pedestrian bridges; and an elevated vehicle departure roadway, covered by 50-ft-tall canopies. Two curbside check-in stations are served by a baggage system that extends inside from the curb.

Schedules on the design-build project were managed using Primavera P6 software, which alerted both contracting teams to milestones and key interface points that helped facilitate coordination.

In addition to having to avoid disrupting operations of the existing terminal—just inches away from the site—crews had to avoid an endangered species habitat while remediating hydrocarbon-contaminated soils and a former municipal landfill.

Key Players

Construction Manager AECOM

Contractors Turner/PCL/Flatiron, a Joint Venture; Kiewit/Sundt

Owner San Diego County Regional Airport Authority

Lead Design Firms HNTB; URS Corp.

Structural Engineers John A Martin Associates; URS Corp.

MEP Engineers Syska & Hennessy Group; URS Corp.; WSP

Environmental Engineer HNTB