The New Orleans Aviation Board reopened the process of finding a contractor to build a new terminal for Louis Armstrong International Airport on Wednesday, issuing a request for proposals that contains few deviations from one used in the now-scuttled first attempt to find a company to oversee the project.
There are few substantial changes in the new, 130-page request, and it seems likely that both teams that originally bid on the project will jump back in for this round.
The second attempt at settling on a firm comes after the Aviation Board scrapped the original bidding process earlier this month.
That decision came after an evaluation committee reviewing the proposals by Parsons Odebrecht, a joint venture between firms based in California and Brazil, and Hunt Gibbs Boh Metro, a consortium of an Indianapolis firm and several local partners, initially tied when scoring the two proposals. After a second round of evaluations, that committee recommended Parsons Odebrecht, but Hunt Gibbs Boh Metro then lodged a protest, arguing the committee’s scoring had been flawed. In the wake of that protest, the board decided to restart the process.
The makeup of the evaluation committee, which includes city, airport and state appointments as well as independent experts, is defined in state law. While the members of the new committee have not been appointed, many expect it will include at least some different individuals than those involved in the first round.
The new request for proposals does spell out what happens in the unlikely event of a second tie score. In that case, the evaluation committee would take a vote on which proposal to recommend.
Proposals must be submitted by mid-July, and the evaluation committee is expected to score them in early August. The Aviation Board would then select a firm and award the contract before September.
The proposal calls for the new terminal to be completed by April 30, 2018, the same date as in the original request.
Mayor Mitch Landrieu has repeatedly called for the project to be completed by 2018, the city’s tricentennial.
Significant changes to the request would likely have delayed the project further as city and aviation officials reviewed and signed off on the changes.
Follow Jeff Adelson on Twitter, @jadelson.