Eagle County Regional Airport Expansion and Remodel
Gypsum, Colo.
Best Project and Award of Merit, Airport/Transit

Owner: Eagle County Air Terminal Corp.
Lead Design Firm: Gensler
General Contractor: Hensel Phelps
Civil Engineer: Jviation Inc.
Structural Engineer: Martin/Martin Inc.
MEP Engineer: MTech Mechanical
Specialty Consultant: JBT AeroTech-Jetway Systems
Subcontractors: CTL | Thompson; Elam Construction; Encore Electric; Heritage Masonry LLC & Co.; Specialties Contracting Inc.

This design-build project was aimed at accommodating the demand for more gates and upgraded facilities in the Eagle County Regional Airport terminal. For the first phase of the project, four airline gates with new passenger boarding bridges were built to connect to a new 47,000-sq-ft, two-story concourse. Before construction of the new facility, crews built temporary facilities for the concessionaires and four airline gates to maintain uninterrupted flight operations.

Inspired by the agrarian and ranching history of the valley, the simple building form of the expanded terminal echoes characteristics found within the rural barns that dot the local landscape and complement the existing terminal.

The north and west elevations of the building are wrapped in 10,000 sq ft of aluminum curtain wall to allow for natural lighting throughout the concourse. A suspended wood ceiling around exposed steel beams at all gates provides a genuine mountain ambiance for arriving and departing passengers.

Construction occurred in phases, with the four new airline gates built first to accommodate operations and passenger traffic before three former gates were demolished in phase two, along with adding two ground-level gates. This approach accelerated the schedule, enabling the team to complete the project two weeks early and before the start of the winter ski season. The airport now has nearly 65,000 sq ft of new and remodeled space to support its operations.

The team was tasked with safely executing a phased project without interrupting airport and flight operations. The contractor established communication protocols with the airport, concessionaires, the Transportation Security Administration and the airlines and met the safety needs of all stakeholders while also implementing a foreign-object debris-control plan specific to the airport.

Despite these variables, safety became a teamwide effort. The contractor evaluated the safety programs of its trade partners to establish a common safety culture through training and communication. That included in-depth training of all jobsite workers on the use of scissor lifts, boom lifts and fall protection. The three-station training provided workers with hands-on training on the inspection, operation and maintenance of the equipment. The teamwork and internal coordination also helped streamline safety procedures for any situations that might affect passengers.

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