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"Lambert Airport Repairs Will Continue For Months"
Thursday, July 7, 2011
Lambert Airport Repairs Will Continue For Months
By George Sells
KTVI-TV Ch 2 (FOX), St. Louis (MO)
BRIDGETON, MO (KTVI-FOX2now.com)- Airport officials say they are still
months away from having major signs of tornado damage at Lambert fully
repaired. The process of putting out bids for contract and collecting
insurance money is keeping the pace of the job somewhat deliberate. In many
ways, it's not dissimilar to what storm victims in neighboring communities
are dealing with.
Airport vendors are among those who can't wait for things to return to
normal. Wanda Caulder runs a Concourse C store called Brighton
Collectables. She says information has been tough to come by.
Her shop didn't lose any merchandise in the tornado, but was located just a
few gates from where the roof was ripped off, "I was devastated. Really
devastated," she said when she first saw the damage. "I've worked here for
a long, long time and never seen anything like it. It was unbelievable.
Since then, she's split her merchandise between two temporary locations, and
kept supplies in a closet shared with a newsstand.
Caulder is looking for answers, and so were Airport Commissioners in their
monthly meeting Wednesday.
Lambert CEO Rhonda Hamm-Niebruegge says some contracts have been awarded,
and others remain out for bid. She says the cleanup is really several
projects, "So there's numerous ones. It's not one job that's put out for the
whole thing. It's broken into various pieces and that opens it up to a lot
of specialty contractors out there. So it's working well, but that doesn't
The overall price tag is expected to push $30 million. Officials hope to
have Concourse C back open before next May, though they are hoping it will
"We're looking to streamline it in every way we can to try and shave weeks
off here and there," Hamm-Niebruegge says.
The signature windows in the terminal are still four or five months from
being replaced. It's to the point officials say they'll be putting signs up
over them boasting of surviving the storm, just so out of towners will know
plywood windows are not the norm here.
If there's any good news, they say it's the fact there was extra, vacant
space to keep the traffic flowing. In fact, passenger flow in May, the
month after the storm, was up more than 5% from the year before.
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