Spokane Journal of Business

SIA selects Lydig to erect new building

Airport is investing nearly $13 million in bolstering snow-removal capability

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The Spokane Airport Board has awarded a $7.5 million contract to Spokane-based Lydig Construction Inc. to erect a building at Spokane International Airport for storing new snow-removal equipment purchased recently for more than $3.8 million.

Airport spokesman Todd Woodard says the new 46,400-square foot building will be located in the northwest corner of the airfield next to other maintenance structures. The total cost for the new building, including design fees, is estimated at $9.1 million.

Construction of the new facility is expected to begin this month and should be completed before the end of this year, weather permitting, Woodard says. Cortner Architectural Co., of Spokane, designed it.

The airport board earlier this year approved the purchase of six new pieces of equipment that will be used to clear the airfield of snow, and Woodard says the board plans to order two new snowplow trucks and one front-end loader in the near future.

Woodard says the current snow-clearing equipment at SIA is getting old, with some pieces dating back to the late 1960s and 1970s.

The six pieces of new equipment on order are scheduled to arrive in October.

Four of them are manufactured by Chilton, Wisc.-based M-B Companies Inc., a venture that specializes in making airport snow-removal products, Woodard says. Of those machines, which are combination snowplows and snow brooms, two have 24-foot-wide plow blades, he says. The four machines from M-B Companies totaled nearly $2.5 million.

The airport also ordered two industrial-sized snow blowers that are specifically designed for clearing airport runways and taxiways, Woodard says. Those two machines, which totaled in price almost $1.4 million, are made by Oshkosh Inc., a big specialty-truck manufacturer based in the Wisconsin city with the same name.

Oshkosh's website says that the blowers can throw up to 5,000 tons of snow an hour as far as 200 feet.

The purchase of the new equipment and the structure to house it are being funded by the airport's passenger facility charge, which is $4.50 per passenger, Woodard says.

Those fees are collected by commercial airports that are overseen by public agencies to fund Federal Aviation Administration-approved projects related to safety, security, or capacity enhancements, to reduce noise, or to increase competition amongst air carriers, an airport board document regarding the project says.

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