Piedmont Triad International Airport (PTIA) is trying to get a runway rehabilitated but now it has to go back to the drawing board at a cost of $133,000.

PTIA has three runways: the main runway, “5/23,” which is 10,000 feet long; the cross-wind runway, “14/32”, which is 6,380 feet; and runway “5L/23R” – also known as the Parallel Runway – which is 9,000 feet long and is the one that’s is getting refurbished.

PTIA Executive Director Kevin Baker said this week that a previous bid for the major runway reconstruction project failed to pull in an acceptable bid.

“We bid the runway project and we had no bidders, and then we had one bidder and that bidder was incredibly high,” Baker said. “So we needed to go back to redesign that bid.”

When the Piedmont Triad Airport Authority – the board that calls all the shots for the airport – threw out that bid earlier this year, it put them in something of a bind because the airport still needed to proceed with the project; however, due to state bidding laws, which require the board to take the lowest responsible bidder, PTIA couldn’t just send out the same project a second time.

Baker said a new project description was required.

“It’s necessary whenever you throw out the bids for a project like that,” he said. “You can’t just put the same project back out on the street because you should have taken the first bidder if you’re going to put the first project back on the street exactly – so you need to make modifications.”

According to Baker, reconfiguring the project description which is what is costing $133,000 should get the airport “back on the street with a revised construction project for next summer.”

Baker said the new project will hopefully provide the airport with some “efficiencies” that will lead to a lower price this time around.

The Airport Authority has now sent the project back to the company that originally prepared the bid – Michael Baker Engineering, in order to get a new bid for the runway.  That’s the same firm that did the work the first time around, so the company isn’t starting from scratch. Airport officials say that’s why it “only” cost $133,000.