F.H. Paschen/S.N. Nielsen wins $89.2 million Midway passenger security checkpoints contract

Midway airport

F.H. Paschen/S.N. Nielsen has been awarded an $89.2 million contract to oversee the long-awaited expansion of passenger checkpoints at Midway Airport, the Chicago Sun-Times reports.

The company was  the lowest of only two bidders for the complex security checkpoint contract. The only other bidder — a joint venture of IHC Construction and II in One Contractors — submitted a base bid of $91.2 million, according to the published report..

Two years ago, Mayor Rahm Emanuel drove a final nail into the long-stalled plan to privatize Midway and took the airport’s future into his “own hands” — by confronting Midway’s biggest weaknesses and passenger annoyances: parking, security and concessions.

View current bidding opportunities at the Chicago Department of Aviation (CDA) here

The overall $248 million project has been described as the biggest upgrade of the Southwest Side airport since former Mayor Richard M. Daley’s $927 million reconstruction project that included a new terminal.

It called for adding 1,400 more premium parking spaces, a Taste-of-Chicago-style concession makeover with more space and 27 security lanes, instead of 17, to unclog a notorious passenger bottleneck.

Paschen/Nielsen will now preside over the significant increase in security checkpoints, by widening a pedestrian bridge over Cicero Ave. from 60 ft. to 300 ft., creating an 80,000 sq. ft. “security hall” with 20,000 sq. ft. of additional concession space.

Concessions project at Midway