Quad Cities Airport chooses construction manager to lead $20-million terminal renovation project

Local News

A rendering of the renovated interior of the Quad Cities International Airport,. Moline.

The Quad Cities International Airport’s Board of Commissioners has unanimously approved Mortenson (based in Minneapolis) as the Construction Manager at Risk (CMAR) for the airport’s $20-million terminal renovation project announced earlier this year.

This selection is the next major milestone in the multi-year project that will modernize the Moline airport’s nearly 40-year old facility.

“It’s been almost 9 months since we first announced what we now call Project GATEWAY,” airport executive director Benjamin Leischner said in a Tuesday release. “We’ve continued planning behind the scenes and part of that work was finding the right construction partner to work with our selected design team, Alliiance. The CMAR selection committee, along with our commissioners, are confident that Mortenson is exactly the right partner and will build a truly impressive facility for our region.”

Ben Leischner is executive director of the Quad Cities International Airport.

Project GATEWAY, which stands for Growing the Air Travel Experience the MLI Way, will infuse technology, efficiency and aesthetics that are quintessentially Quad Cities, the airport release said.

The goal will not only be to modernize the aging facility but future-proof it to meet evolving air travel and passenger needs. Some of the plans include moving baggage screening machines out of sight, adding a canopy to the front of the terminal, renovating restrooms to exceed ADA standards, adding family and nursing mother’s suites and removing the brown brick flooring in the ticketing area.

The brick flooring in the airport ticketing area will be gone as part of the renovations.

Mortenson partnered with Davenport-based Bush Construction and Chicago-based R.M. Chin & Associates to round out their team. Mortenson has offices in 12 cities, including Iowa City, Chicago, Milwaukee and Minneapolis, which serves as their headquarters. They were chosen not only for their aviation experience but their approach to construction that focuses on safety and minimal disruptions to airport operations.

“Mortenson is very proud to have been selected for this exciting project,” said Randy Clarahan, project director for Mortenson. “The Quad Cities was my home for 20 years and where we raised our family. This project is personal for me, and I know the impact this will have on continued viability to the Quad Cities International Airport as well as enhancing the experience for each and every traveler utilizing the modernized facility.”

The Mortenson team’s local connections and their partnership with Bush were important factors as the airport has committed to using local labor whenever possible. The project is expected to bring millions of federal dollars into the community in addition to creating jobs over the course of the estimated 4-year project timeline.

A water feature and more greenery are among the airport renovation plans.

“We are excited to be a part of this truly transformational project,” said MacAdam Glinn, principal-in-charge, Mortenson. “The Quad Cities is a fantastic community and, when completed, this project will give it the functional and attractive gateway to the world that it deserves. We are grateful for the opportunity to be the construction partner that helps make this ambitious vision a reality.”

Mortenson will work with airport leaders and Alliiance to develop schematics, and determine priorities and phasing of the project. Based on the current timeline, construction could begin as soon as late summer or early fall 2022.

Quad Cities International Airport serves passengers from western Illinois and eastern Iowa. With nonstop and connecting destinations, the airport served over 700,000 passengers in 2019. Four major airlines operate out of QC Airport — Allegiant Air, American Airlines, Delta Air Lines and United Airlines.

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