C+S August 2023 Vol. 9 Issue 8 (web)

Critical Infrastructure: Successfully Upgrading Airport Facilities Within a 24-7 Environment

By Steve Larson

Tacoma International Airport (SeaTac), US-based, top-20 builder, developer, and engineering services provider, Mortenson has been involved in multiple successful airport improvement projects ranging from system updates and upgrades as well as the creation of emergency power supply sources that are all required to keep SeaTac up and running in daily operation. Upgrading Aging Electrical Infrastructure in a 24-7-365 Environment: SeaTac's Low Voltage Upgrade Project As an example of a critical infrastructure project in Seattle, the Port of Seattle selected Mortenson for GCCM services for two important projects–SeaTac's Low Voltage Upgrade project and the Alternate Utility Facility. Valued at $80 million, the Low Voltage Upgrade project upgrades and replaces the aging electrical infrastructure at SeaTac’s main terminal, encompassing buildings, additions, renovations and improvements dating back to the airport's original construction in 1949. The elements of the project are especially staggering in the busy airport environment and include replacing one of five power entrance switchgear line-ups; replacing 378 service panels and their feeders; building 14 new electrical rooms; making major modifications to another 15 electrical rooms; and finding feeder routing paths and device mounting locations in an extremely congested facility. As part of the project’s scope, which is currently underway, Mortenson is investigating the existing condition and layout of the electrical

From New York to San Diego and from Nashville to Seattle, the United States has more than 500 commercial airports carrying more than 850 million passengers annually . To accommodate the vast number of travelers, the US Air Traffic Organization (ATO) provides service to more than 45,000 flights across the country every single day (according to the Federal Aviation Administration) with the responsibility of overseeing the largest number of air passengers in the world . Just this past June, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) recorded its highest number ever of passengers screened in just one day at more than 2.8 million. To keep up with steady demand, most commercial airports in the US need to operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year — resulting in non-stop wear and tear at these critical transportation hubs. How then do construction providers implement plans to update and replace important infrastructure upgrade improvements and required upgrades by the FAA, TSA, and airlines without impacting 24/7 operations or passenger experiences? And what are the latest trends and lessons learned in airport infrastructure work that can help airports continue to succeed—and thrive—in their continuously evolving landscapes? Challenges & Opportunities: from Design & Planning to Construction & Completion When it comes to everything from design and planning to construction and completion, big challenges mean big opportunities. At Seattle-




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