The $855-million North Terminal Phase 1 represents one portion of the $2.95-billion Miami North Terminal Expansion program, created to handle the ever-increasing passenger traffic demands at Miami International Airport.

Photo Parsons-Odebrecht Joint Venture

Phase one consisted of 1.3 million sq ft of new construction and 1.1 million sq ft of renovation and involved the opening of 30 gates, more than 115 ticket counters, three Skytrain stations and approximately 5,000 ft of train guideway.

Parsons-Odebrecht Joint Venture began the fast-track project in March 2007. About half of the construction took place atop a 50-year-old terminal. Perhaps the most difficult challenge was a demanding, fast-pace schedule that required construction to occur within the footprint and surrounded by an existing active terminal. Parsons-Odebrecht worked at an average production rate of $30 million per month in 2008 and $24 million per month in 2009, while maintaining passenger flow and without disrupting existing systems.

The team’s phasing strategy delivered portions of the project early. The approach simplified maintenance of traffic and resulted in savings of two years in the project schedule.

The project employs a linear terminal design as opposed to the “finger” design that it replaced. The configuration of the terminal is such that aircraft can pull directly in and out of gates rather than having to maneuver around or wait for other aircraft. The design provides for a greater utilization of the facility, resulting in a seven-to-eight gate usage per day vs. a two-to-three gate usage per day.

Either international or domestic flights can use the gates, with conversion accomplished instantaneously by employing automatic doors that ensure proper separation of domestic and international passengers. The linear design also creates symmetry throughout the building.

The project features high-end finish materials, including stainless steel, terrazzo, acoustical ceilings and plenty of glass. The curtainwall system and skylights allow natural light into the building. The team used low- or no-VOC paint, recycled tile, recycled carpet, low-wattage lighting and low-flow plumbing fixtures.

Although design development started prior to the establishment of LEED standards, many of the design features meet current standards, and the project team is working to obtain LEED certification.

Not many projects of this size and complexity within an active existing facility such as the Miami International Airport can claim they were able to maintain the schedule, avoid disruption to operations and resolve all disputes without a claim, yet that’s what Parsons-Odebrecht Joint Venture accomplished. The job was completed in August 2009.

Key Players

Owner: Miami-Dade Aviation Department (MDAD)
Contractor: Parsons-Odebrecht Joint Venture
Architects: Leo A. Daly, Bermello-Ajamil & Partners, Rodriguez and Quiroga, Wolberg Alvarez, Corgan Associates
Engineers: TLC Engineering, Edwards and Kelcey, EAC Consulting, Fraga Engineers, Donnell, Duquesne & Albaisa, P.A., Johnson, Avedano, Lopez, Rodriguez & Walewski Eng. Group Inc., Hammond and Associates, Martinez Engineering Group, Varley-Campbell and Associates, Wolfberg Alvarez