LAS VEGAS (AP) — A construction error is prompting additional delays in the completion of a $99 million project, begun in June 2011, to build a Federal Aviation Administration tower at McCarran International Airport, officials said Friday.
FAA spokesman Allen Kenitzer released a statement citing unspecified "issues" to be resolved and pushing back the opening of the 352-foot tower and four-story Terminal Radar Approach Control building to late 2016 or early 2017.
"The FAA identified some construction issues and is working with the contractor to address them," the statement said. "The FAA will ensure that any outstanding issues are resolved before accepting the final project from the contractor."
An official with Chicago-based Walsh Construction and Archer Western Contractors didn't immediately respond to a message Friday, and Kenitzer declined to comment further.
The agency statement cited previous delays relating to two federal government shutdowns, the slow installation of plumbing, utility and fire safety systems, and an earlier problem that required reinstallation of tower view glass. Cost estimates from the delays weren't provided.
The Las Vegas Review-Journal reported (http://bit.ly/1uvpMtO) the latest snag stemmed from improper application of a chemical to prevent a potentially toxic fungus in ductwork, walls and subfloors that might need to be cut into to fix the problem.
The fungus, stachybotrys chartarum, led to the shutdown of several state and local public buildings when it was detected in the Las Vegas area in the late 1990s and early 2000.
The tower contractor, subcontractors, union workers and the FAA have been meeting to assess the best way to address the problem, the newspaper reported.
The new tower will replace a 200-foot-tall structure built in the early 1980s with a base building of a less than 14,000 square feet.
Officials have said the new 52,800-square-foot TRACON facility will house air traffic control training simulators, administrative offices and equipment. It also includes a two-level parking garage and a guard station.
The new tower is designed to control air traffic more efficiently at McCarran, the nation's eighth-busiest airport. Officials project the number of flights to grow to 700,000 per year by 2020.
Information from: Las Vegas Review-Journal, http://www.lvrj.com