February 26, 2019
Bomel Construction – More Long-term Parking: Second-largest Construction Project at San Francisco International Airport Completed; New Garage Has 3,600 Stalls
SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. ––The number two is popular these days at San Francisco International Airport.
The airport’s second long-term parking structure––built right next to the first––has opened during the second month of the year. The new 3,600-stall garage, which took two years to be completed, was the second largest construction project in progress, surpassed only by the ongoing redevelopment of Terminal 1, a $2.4 billion endeavor.
San Francisco International has experienced a significant increase in passenger boardings over the last five years. With about 26,900 boardings in 2017, SFO was the seventh busiest airport in the nation and second busiest in California, according to the Federal Aviation Administration. The 2017 figure represents a 26-percent increase since 2012.
“Peak demand for long-term parking was approaching a capacity limit, requiring the need for additional parking capacity,” said airport spokesperson Doug Yakel.
The new 1.2-million-square-foot garage, part of the airport’s five-year capital improvement program, is located on the former site of parking lot DD. The two long-term parking structures are connected on the fifth level by a pedestrian and vehicular bridge. The older garage has 3,100 stalls on seven levels. The new $154-million garage has six levels.
Getting it built
Irvine-based Bomel Construction Co. Inc., widely regarded as the dean of parking structure construction in the West, served as the garage’s concrete subcontractor to Nibbi Brothers General Contractors of San Francisco. Bomel Construction was responsible for the superstructure’s concrete (excluding the ground-level slab). Bomel’s work included structural concrete, formwork and rebar; concrete for the 108-foot-long by 40-foot-wide bridge; and site concrete for the entry and exit plaza. Nibbi Brothers handled foundations and footings.
Yakel said other major project participants included: Kwan-Henmi/FMC/Watry-Buehler Collaborative (architects/designers); Allen Group/Cooper Pugeda Management (project management); SFO Parking Management; and New South Parking.
“One of the biggest challenges came at the beginning of the project when the design had to be changed in order to accommodate a sanitary sewer force main that runs through the project site and is under the jurisdiction of the cities of Burlingame and Millbrae,” Yakel said. “The design team literally moved the footprint of the new parking facility 50 feet to the west so that it cleared the SSFM and still provided the requisite programming features, including bridge interconnectivity between the new garage, the pending new AirTrain Station and the existing garage.”
Another major challenge during construction, as with most ongoing projects at SFO, was keeping the existing long-term parking facility in operation during construction.
“This involved significant coordination with SFO Parking Management, including shuttle bus operations, as there were multiple shuttle bus route changes and phased construction of the entry/exit plaza, which houses the parking access and revenue controls systems,” Yakel added.
Two crews working six days
Bomel Construction’s project team included Robert Babcock, project manager; Josh Bell, project engineer; and Hollis Emery, superintendent. In addition to working 10-hour weekdays, Babcock said Bomel’s two separate crews worked on Saturdays.
“Due to the size of the parking structure, the structural engineer designed it with expansion joints in both the east-west and north-south directions, splitting it into four separate structures. This was done to help minimize shrinkage cracks,” Babcock explained.
San Francisco’s vibrant construction industry and a large public-sector project like this one also presented a number of challenges.
“Everybody is working these days,” Babcock recalled when the project first started. “Finding good help in the field, scheduling concrete and other normal project tasks were a lot harder than anticipated. Noe Valenzuela with Nibbi Brothers was truly helpful with a lot of upfront issues, including meeting all of the local business hiring requirements.
“Nibbi was a huge asset throughout the project,” he continued. “It was challenging maintaining our required crew sizes––our formwork crew, our patching crew and our subcontractor’s iron worker crew. It was even more challenging training all of Nibbi’s MEP subcontractors, specifically their electrical subcontractor, to maintain our aggressive schedule.
“But with Nibbi’s help, we were able to place all the superstructure concrete, plus the added work, a little ahead of schedule.”
The parking garage, located at 794 South Airport Boulevard, has a main entrance with a ramp and two other entrances. It also has five stairwells and one bank of four elevators. The speed ramp goes from one side all the way up to each level. The ground level will include retail stores.
‘An exceptional parking garage’
Yakel said the parking structure was completed within its budget. He praised the project’s participants.
“The team’s exemplary performance highlights the airport’s standard of doing business, aka, delivering exceptional projects within a structured collaborative partnering environment,” he said earlier this month. “Everybody on the team had the same goal of delivering an exceptional parking garage on time and on budget. Toward that end, substantial completion has been achieved and the new garage is in operation.”
ABOUT SAN FRANCISCO INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT: In 2017, San Francisco International Airport was the seventh-busiest airport in the United Statesand the 24th-busiest in the worldby passenger count. It is the fifth-largest hubfor United Airlinesand functions as United’s primary transpacific gateway. It also serves as a secondary hub for Alaska Airlines. It is a major maintenance hub for United Airlines. SFO offers non-stop flights to more than 47 international cities on 41 international carriers. The Bay Area’s largest airport connects non-stop with 83 cities in the U.S. on 12 domestic airlines. Website: www.flysfo.com.
ABOUT BOMEL CONSTRUCTION: Established in 1970, Irvine, Calif.-based Bomel Construction Co. Inc., widely regarded as the dean of design-build parking structure construction in the western United States, is one of the largest concrete contractors in the nation. Bomel Construction currently serves as the design-build general contractor for the largest parking structure under construction in California, a 6,500-stall garage. In addition to its award-winning parking structure portfolio, Bomel is a one-stop source for all concrete construction needs. The company maintains a highly skilled staff for its in-house structural, architectural and site concrete divisions. Bomel works directly for property owners, developers and general contractors. Its portfolio of work includes a wide range of projects built at large, well-known casino-resorts, shopping malls, office buildings, mass transit centers, airports, universities and community colleges. For more information: Bomel Construction Co. Inc., 96 Corporate Park, Irvine, CA 92606. Phone: 714-921-1660. Website: www.bomelconstruction.com