Albany -- Riley and Ephraim Construction was supposed to be finished with a 400,000 square-foot cargo parking apron for jets by now. But the project has dragged on and work hasn't even been going on lately because Riley and Ephraim couldn't pay suppliers.
So they've been fired and another company will be brought in. It proved too big a job. Airport Director Richard Howell said "They just got in over their head."
Now Westchester Fire Insurance Company, which holds the construction bond, has to make sure the work is finished. Airport Director Richard Howell thinks work should resume by mid-August. There is about 45 days' worth of work left to complete phase two of the cargo pad project.
Howell said "What we are most concerned about is getting a good product, so that it last us for a long time, and we get our money's worth."
With the new grant of more than one million dollars from the Department of Transportation's, the Airport hopes to build a 50,000 square foot building at the cargo apron. That could attract more cargo business to Albany.
Howell said "It just opens up this whole wide range of possibilities for the airport, for things that we can do that we were not able to do in the past."
Currently the Southwest Georgia Regional Airport handles more than 20 million pounds of cargo a year. The larger cargo apron and dock could quadruple the airport's capability.