High Point, N.C.-Area Airport to Create New Cargo Hub

Piedmont Triad International Airport officials could award the next contract for work on the proposed FedEx Corp. cargo hub project as early as next month.

Officials on Thursday opened three bids for work on the taxiway bridge for the expansion of the airport to accommodate FedEx's fifth national cargo hub, which is scheduled to open no later than the middle of 2009.

FedEx has pledged to create 1,500 full- and part-time jobs when the hub is fully operational.

The bids opened in the Piedmont Triad Airport Authority boardroom in the terminal building are for the taxiway bridge that will link the new 2-mile runway with the 1-million-square-foot overnight sorting operation building.

The low bidder was Durham-based Mountain States Contractors at $9.2 million.

The airport authority could award a bid for the project as early as its Dec. 14 meeting, said PTIA Executive Director Ted Johnson. When the bid is awarded, it will mean that all four major aspects of the hub project are under contract, he said.

The airport authority earlier this year awarded three contracts totaling $73.9 million for grading of the hub site, relocation of a section of Bryan Boulevard and site work for the new runway.

The hub project and airport expansion involve a budget of more than $500 million. Longtime opponents of the hub tried to fight the project on environmental grounds with legal actions, but no state or federal court would intervene to halt work.

Johnson said the bids for contracts on the next phases of the project won't be taken until the spring or summer of 2005. The work will involve further earthmoving, he said.

Eventually, the project will involve 15 million cubic yards of earthwork, enough dirt to fill Oak Hollow Mall 11 times.