Aiport kicks off $42 million renovation

TRI-CITIES, Wash. - Construction on the Tri-Cities most expensive project is underway, airport officials held a ceremony officially kicking off the $42 million airport renovation. KEPR learned that nearly three-quarters of that money will stay right here in the Tri-Cities.

Bouten Contsruction was one of the first companies named to help with the Airport Expansion Project. Vice President Tim Thomas says his company will be doing nearly a million dollars worth of work and he understands what a golden opportunity this is.

"Not everybody is renovating airports across the country, it's a big infrastructure development for this community, not just Pasco, but all the Tri-Cities,"said V.P. of Bouten Construction, Tim Thomas.

Bouten Construction is just one of 51 local contractors on the job to double the size of the current terminal. 73% of the $42 million project will stay in the Tri-Cities.

"All the people we have working are local, our project manager, superintendent, carpenter, laborers, other crews, all local and take great pride in that," said Thomas.

Officials gathered today to officially break ground, but work has been going on for the past couple weeks. The project will be broken into three phases. The area on the east side of the current building will be the new location of baggage claim and car rental offices. Meaning in about three weeks, travelers will be picking their luggage up outside. Airport officials are asking residents to bear with the changes.

"We're not going to ignore them, they're the people that really make us what we are," said Airport Director, Ron Foraker.

And for workers like Tim, it's not just about the local dollars kept in house, it's the ability to put our own stamp on the project.

"For an individual that is flying out to Hawaii or going on vacation or something, he can say to his wife and kids, hey i'm working on this, this is a part of our community and a lot of pride involved in this," said Thomas.

Staff say the project will be complete by the beginning of 2017.