The price tag for Sea-Tac airport’s new international arrivals facility looks very different from the port’s previous estimates.
While the 450,000-square-foot facility — scheduled to be completed in 2019 — originally came in at $684 million, the project now shows a cost of $830 million — 21 percent over-budget.
“We’re gonna be holding people accountable … We’re demanding answers from the staff and the general contractor,” she said.
Bowman explained that the current international arrivals facility at the Seattle-Tacoma Airport was built 50 years ago to handle about 1,200 passengers per hour. Now, however, with regular direct routes to 16 cities throughout Europe and Asia, the airport receives 2,600 international passengers per hour.
“This is a much-needed project, but that does not in any way justify a cost overrun of $140 million,” Bowman said. “And that is exactly the question the port commissioners are asking.”
According to the Port of Seattle’s website, “no tax-payer dollars will be used to fund the project.” Instead, passenger facility charges and other revenues will pay for the international arrivals facility.
There are no clear answers as to what specifically drove the price up nearly $150 million, but Bowman did point out that additional costs were incurred when Polychlorinated Biphenyls were discovered in the construction of the facility.
“We cannot have PCBs associated with the international arrivals facility,” Bowman said.
Sea-Tac project budget
She also pointed out that construction costs in general have skyrocketed throughout Puget Sound.
Along with Commissioner Peter Steinbrueck, Bowman said she will “provide direct commission oversight to the airport construction project.”
“How much of it is due to the contractor, and how much is due to something that our staff might have overlooked? … That’s where Commissioner Steinbrueck and I are going through every line item to figure this out,” she said.
When asked by Dori if — in the event it is determined that the extra costs should have been anticipated — she believed people should go to prison, Bowman said that she was “not a lawyer” and could not answer.
She did say that she was determined to stand up for her constituents.
“At the end of the day, I’m not gonna allow the public to get snookered … I’m going to make sure … we’re delivering what we said we’d deliver,” Bowman said.