Two of the three new passenger loading bridges that have been manufactured in Utah to replace the old ones at the Francisco C. Ada/Saipan International Airport are ready to be shipped to the island.
A third passenger loading bridge is in the finishing stage.
In his report during Friday’s meeting, the Commonwealth Ports Authority board’s airport facilities committee chair, Barry C. Toves, said that CPA is replacing passenger loading bridges 2, 3, and 6 with new ones due to their age and constant maintenance requirement.
The project was designed in 2017 and was advertised in 2018. The contract was not executed, though until January 2019 because of Super Typhoon Yutu, which hit the CNMI in October 2018.
Reporting on the project’s status, Toves said the bridges will be shipped when the revised foundation has been fabricated.
Toves said a contractor has already demolished the passenger loading bridge in Gate 2 of the airport and will soon move to Gate 3, and then Gate 6.
The removal of all other bridges will be completed by January 2020.
Toves said the design for the additional three bridges is ongoing and funding is being sought via a grant from the U.S. Economic Development Administration.
However, he said, the Federal Aviation Administration has also urged CPA to submit an application for federal assistance for the additional three in case the EDA grant is disapproved.
Due to Super Typhoon Yutu’s devastation and safety concerns from the damaged passenger loading bridges, CPA submitted a change order to the FAA to allow the contractor to demolish all six bridges.