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Cost of Boosting Security at Santa Monica Airport Rising
 

Bob Kronovetrealty
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Santa Monica Convention and Visitors

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By Jorge Casuso

October 22, 2019 -- A plan to enhance security at Santa Monica Airport will likely be delayed after the only bid came in at more than twice the City's estimate.

The Public Works Department recommended that the City Council on Tuesday reject the $3,198,000 bid by Caltec that would "address the security vulnerabilities" at the airport, City officials said.

The City had estimated the cost of the work -- which includes upgrading access controls, installing closed-circuit television and upgrading communication systems -- at $1,470,000.

"Staff solicited bids in September 2019 to implement the project but received only one bid, which significantly exceeded the engineer’s estimate," the report to the Council said.

The new bid will include more details on the project and allow qualified contractors to bid on the line items they are "best qualified for," staff said.

"Staff wrote the initial scope to avoid publicly sharing details about the security design," the report said.

"Staff believes these changes would result in receiving bids that are more in line with the engineer’s estimate."

Given the Council's go-ahead, staff also would "allot additional time for advertising the bid and conducting contractor outreach so more contractors are notified of the project."

The cost of enhancing airport security has already exceeded estimates.

In April, the Council authorized a $50,000 modification to the City's contract with Birdi & Associates, Inc. (B&A) to design the security enhancements and "ensure design conformance during construction."

"The project design required a larger amount of construction than originally anticipated," staff wrote in its report to Council April 9.

The modification of B&A's contract was the third and brings the total contract to $316,342, according to staff.

B&A is evaluating and enhancing the airport's security system "to ensure that it meets federal, state, and local regulations and provides an improved level of security and safety for the people that utilize the airport facilities."

The system will, at minimum, address "any gaps in the airport’s vehicle and pedestrian access points, the airport’s perimeter fence, and access points from buildings located alongside the restricted area of the airport."

The consultant also "studied avenues to enhance the security of passengers and pilots and others working in restricted areas of the airport."

The project to shorten the airport's runway, however, "added design fees and extended the timeline for this project," staff said.

B&A also identified the need for many hardware upgrades not included in the software upgrades requested by staff.


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