Turner Construction Co. – CONRAC Facility

When people go to rent a car after a long flight, they want the process to be simple, without any complications. The San Antonio International Airport in San Antonio plans to give travelers that convenience with its new Consolidated Rental Car (CONRAC) facility.

Turner Construction Co. Senior Project Manager Eric Wildt explains that the facility actually consists of two structures. “One is a seven-story parking structure with the first two levels being public parking,” he states.

The building also will have four levels dedicated to ready/return spaces and vehicle storage, and its fourth floor will feature customer service. “You will be able to walk into this expansive lobby that will be connected to the terminal via a sky bridge that has every rental car brand in front of you,” Wildt describes.

The structure also includes the Quick Turnaround Area (QTA) facility, which is designed as a space where vehicles can be refueled, cleaned and maintained. 

“You can bring your car back, drop it off and an attendant drives it into this QTA,” for service, he explains. 

Filling the Need

The San Antonio International Airport has needed the $129.5 million CONRAC facility for a long time. “It’s been in their master plan for about 10 years,” Wildt says, noting that the rental car companies are currently scattered around the airport.

“Some of them are really hard to find,” he says, adding that some travelers have left their car in parking areas for the rental car companies to pick up themselves. “[This] consolidates everything.”

The CONRAC facility also will be connected to the airport’s Terminal B and serve as the entry and exit point for customers. While the public parking portion will open in April 2017, the rest will be open in April 2018, Wildt predicts.

Driving Efficiency

Turner Construction is serving as the construction manager-at-risk on the CONRAC project, Wildt says. Over the past few months, he notes, the company has utilized The Last Planner lean construction planning system.

During the process, “We bring in everybody that has a piece of the puzzle into the room at the same time, including designers and my [team members],” he says. “We’re mapping out work structures, work sequencing and approval processes so everybody knows exactly when they are going to happen.”

Turner Construction has utilized The Last Planner for the last few years. However, “We’re really trying to make the project a showcase of its use,” Wildt says. “The goal of the system is to eliminate waste, [such as] the waste of time in waiting for something to show up. [Another] goal is to drive efficiency.”

The contractor has partnered closely with the project’s designer, TranSystems Corp. “We had the advantage of being brought under contract as the same time as the designer,” Wildt recalls. By working together, Turner and TranSystems are meeting the city’s budget for the project. “It’s a great success story,” he says.

Working Within Limits

Turner Construction broke ground on the CONRAC project this June. “Right now, we’re at the point that we’ve torn down a garage that was once there and we’re working on underground utilities,” Wildt says. “We’re in the process of drilling piers for the new building.”

But it has not been easy for the project team because it has to work around airport operations and commuters. “We have to be sensitive to the public,” Wildt says. “We have to keep the drive lanes open, and we had to build a long pedestrian walkway around our site.”

The project team also has kept safe during construction, thanks to the efforts of its full-time safety manager. “We offer extensive training through our safety manager to the subcontractors,” he continues. ”We also have daily huddles where we review safety elements.”

Keeping Busy

Based in New York City, Turner Construction is an international construction firm that builds in many market segments. The company has a staff of 5,200 that works on more than 1,500 projects annually.

That team includes Wildt, a 20-year veteran of Turner Construction. He notes that the contractor hopes to take on more work at San Antonio International Airport. “They have a five- to 10-year master plan that has them building more work out there,” he describes. “It’s something that makes us want to make a good impression.”

Turner Construction also plans to keep using The Last Planner System at its office in San Antonio. “We’ve had a presence [there] for about eight years,” Wildt describes.

The company wants to continue to grow its overall presence. “We’re working to develop an office in Austin,” he describes. “It’s a very busy market.” 

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