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American Shipper

Outside eyes will check on MIA cost overruns

Outside eyes will check on MIA cost overruns

Miami International Airport will bring in four outside industry experts for two days next week to examine the estimated $1 billion in cost overruns for capital improvement projects, primarily on the new North Terminal, according to a report in the Miami Herald.

         'The objective is to get feedback on the approach we're taking to complete the project,' deputy aviation director John Cosper said. 'It's really for them to see how the project is broken up, how we're going to do it.'

   The experts will be focusing more on how to avoid additional cost overruns as work proceeds, rather than looking at ways to make cuts in the project or determine what happened with previous cost overruns.

   Airport managers have told the county commissioners that the primary cause of cost overruns has been increased prices for materials and labor. The price of key materials like concrete have been driven well beyond original estimates by the global demand for cement, while the cost of labor has gone up because of the high demand for construction workers caused by the South Florida building boom.

   The overall capital improvement program at the airport is now expected to cost $6.2 billion, even with significant design cutbacks. The cost of the North Terminal is now set at $2.66 billion, up from the original $1.94 billion.

   And the cost of the outside consultants? The report said that would come to about $3,000 for each of the four people coming in. They will spend two days at the airport.

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