Engineering News-Record - Tim Newcomb

According to a lawsuit filed by the Port of Seattle against Clark Construction, the $1-billion Seattle-Tacoma International Airport International Arrivals Facility (IAF) project didn't turn out the way everyone originally thought during the celebrations marking its opening in May 2022.

The lawsuit, first reported by The Seattle Times, claims that only 16 wide-body airplanes can fit at the new gates supporting the arrivals hall at one time. The project design planned for 20.

The Port of Seattle in a letter says the unexpected capacity issues could lead to "damages to the Port's operations in the tens or hundreds of millions of dollars over the expected life of this project," and gives the airport "an international-flight capacity problem that this project was originally intended to solve." 

The design of a new secure international corridor along the face of the existing Concourse A was meant to allow eight wide-body aircraft gates direct access to the IAF with dual use for domestic flights, upping the building's flexibility. Combined with the redesigned South Satellite Terminal, the planned 20 gates for large planes at one time could handle any expected influx of international flights.

The lawsuits started with Clark Construction of Maryland suing the Port for more than $60 million plus legal fees in December for costs associated with design changes and pandemic slow downs. The Port countersued in January for $100 million, highlighting the gate design issue.

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