The City of Wichita Board of Bids on Tuesday voted unanimously to reject an appeal from contractor Dondlinger/Hunt, which protested its disqualification for work related to the new terminal project.
Dondlinger/Hunt has seven days to file a written protest to be reviewed by the Wichita Airport Authority, which will decide on awarding the terminal contract later this month. The Wichita City Council sits as the Wichita Airport Authority.
The decision by the Board of Bids, a four-member panel that deliberated at City Hall, followed a Monday decision by the Wichita Airport Advisory Board (WAAB) meeting, which also voted unanimously to support awarding the construction contract to the joint venture firm of Wichita-based Key Construction and Walbridge of Detroit.
Key/Walbridge submitted a bid price of $101.5 million. The WAAB recommendation goes to the Wichita Airport Authority, which will decide on the contract later this month.
The contract was protested by the joint venture firm of Dondlinger/Hunt, whose bid was ruled non-responsive due to failing to meet federal Disadvantaged Business Enterprise participation goals. Dondlinger/Hunt had proposed that the city use binding arbitration as a means of resolving the dispute.
In making its recommendation, WAAB determined that using arbitration would violate Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) requirements, which places up to $53 million of federal funding at risk. Additionally, WAAB said that the multiple analyses conducted by City of Wichita staff are in compliance with federal regulations.