Work begins on new airport arrival and departure building

Published 10:00 pm Monday, October 16, 2017

Construction on the new Albert Lea airport arrival and departure building is underway.

Crews demolished the old building last week to make way for the construction of the planned 4,500-square-foot, $2.15 million building, which is expected to be complete in late May.

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The footings for the building, along with underground utilities and the building floor, will hopefully be finished before freezing conditions come to the area, said Albert Lea City Engineer Steven Jahnke.

The contractor for the project is Rose Creek-based JD Driver Ltd.

Jahnke acknowledged the project experienced setbacks before moving forward. The Albert Lea City Council tabled accepting a bid for the new building in summer 2016 after bids came in significantly higher than expected.

“It obviously took a long time to get going,” he said. “We had bid it once earlier — we rejected those bids. We’re actually a year out from where we wanted to start, but it should go. Everything’s in place now moving forward; looking forward to it being good.”

Councilors earlier that month approved more than $766,000 in funding from the U.S. Department of Transportation for the project. The state is expected to fund approximately $948,300, and the city is expected to pay a little less than $436,500 for the project.

The building is expected to feature exposed glass with wooden beams from Alamco Wood Products..

Jahnke said the project is needed because the old building was outdated and the role of the airport in the community.

“When you fly into town, it’s the first thing you see,” he said. “It should give a good impression for people when they fly into Albert Lea.”

About Sam Wilmes

Sam Wilmes covers crime, courts and government for the Albert Lea Tribune.

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