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FORT MYERS, FL-With a low bid of $29.7 million, Phoenix Construction Services, a firm based in Panama City, FL, is expected to be awarded the contract to prepare the 1,100-acre site for the proposed new midfield terminal complex at Southwest Florida International Airport. It is the first of 13 contracts to be awarded for the $386-million terminal project, which is scheduled to break ground next year.

The Airport Special Management Committee unanimously voted Tuesday to recommend the port authority board, which is comprised of the Lee County commission, accept the Phoenix bid. The board will meet Jan. 14 to make the final decision.

Southwest Florida International Airport is located south of Fort Myers, approximately 100 miles northwest of Miami. It serves a five-county region including Lee, Collier, Charlotte, Hendry and Glades counties. The airport served more than 4.3 million passengers during 1996, ranking it among the 60 busiest airports in the United States.

Don Komito, airport senior manager of engineering and construction, tells GlobeSt.com that the new terminal complex is being built in anticipation of the addition of a second runway at the airport.

Komito says Phoenix was one of three firms that met the Nov. 29 deadline although about 70 companies expressed interest in bidding. The other two were Phillips & Jordan of Zephyrhills, at $33.93 million, and John Carlo of Lakeland, at $58.96 million.

Work under the contract includes three million cubic yards of excavation and the installation of 29,000 feet of concrete pipe, 1,500 concrete box culverts, 20,000 feet of chain-link fence, six reinforced weirs, 2.6 million square yards of seeding and one million square yards of sod.

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