Williston Basin International Airport
Project of the Year Finalist and Best Project
Owner: City of Williston, N.D.
Lead Design Firm: Alliance
General Contractor: JE Dunn Construction
Civil, Structural Engineer: KLJ Engineering LLC
MEP Engineer: Michaud Cooley Erickson & Associates LLC
Aviation Equipment Designer: Swanson Rink
Airport Consultant: Chrysalis Consulting LLC
Technology Designer: Faith Group LLC
Subcontractors: Anderson Steel Erection & Crane Service Inc.; Astro Engineering & Manufacturing Inc.; Denny’s Electric Inc.; Fladeland Mechanical Inc.; G&S Mechanical USA Inc.; Herzog Roofing Inc.; IMS Masonry Inc.; Integrity Steel Supply LLC
Communities in northwestern North Dakota near the Bakken oil formation have grown significantly, leading Williston to expand its 10,000-sq-ft airport. The new 100,000-sq-ft terminal can now process up to 300 passengers per hour. The tenfold expansion required the airport to upgrade security, technology and traveler amenities. The terminal was designed in three separate sections that allow for future growth with minimal impact to the infrastructure. It features a front zone that houses the public spaces, a center zone with most of the infrastructure and permanent fixtures, and a rear zone with passenger gates. Waiting areas were upgraded, and WiFi was added throughout the airport, along with baggage conveyer systems and three passenger-boarding bridges.
However, local utilities were located miles away from the greenfield site. To mitigate concerns about adequate labor and trade partners, the project team maximized local participation but also recruited help from across a five-state area.
The location also meant building during two winters in northern North Dakota. Crews averaged six days a week to compensate for more than 80 days of rain, snow and cold weather. More than 40 separate contracts helped keep the project on schedule, but that meant that more than 250 workers were on site at any one time, intensifying the need for close coordination among the various trades.