Negotiations Are Under Way for Expansion of Fort Lauderdale Airport's Terminal 4

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We told you last week that Broward County has broken ground on a $791 million runway expansion at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International that will send planes up a six-story ramp over Federal Highway and the FEC tracks.

In tandem with that project, Terminal 4 (home to Spirit Airlines, as well as flights to Colombia and the Caribbean) will get a major expansion of its own. Only half of the project has been approved by the airlines, for which construction is estimated to cost around $25 million.

One meeting in a long series of negotiations was held this morning between county aviation officials and Turner Construction, the company selected to complete the gate expansion project. This isn't a pie-in-the-sky scenario in the slightest; today, county negotiators were hammering out whether they'd have to pay Turner employees the same rate for working in the field as for working out of Turner's home office in Miami. Turner VP Jay Fraser was present to negotiate staffing and other issues.

A County Commission agenda from December shows a work authorization for Turner in the total amount of $24,575,738 to complete a gate replacement project on the "western portion" of Terminal 4. County materials say that "airlines have approved design of the full expansion but have only authorized construction of the western expansion." The county says it anticipates full authorization from the airlines, which will presumably mean more work for Turner.

Turner is an $8-billion-a-year company that has worked on such projects as the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial in Washington, D.C., and the new Whitney Museum in New York City.

Negotiated terms will be presented to the Board of County Commissioners at their February 14 meeting.

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