(March 19, 2015) - More than three dozen construction trailers have been winding their way to the southernmost part of Tampa International Airport over the past several weeks, forming the central command center for what is the Airport’s biggest Master Plan construction project.
They call it Trailer City. And as of this week, it’s open for business.
Made up of 39 trailers divided into four clusters, the occupancy of these temporary offices represents an important and significant milestone for the airport’s expansion project. From this location, the Hillsborough County Aviation Authority as well as Austin Commercial and its subcontractors will direct operations and construction of the rental car center, the new rental car service centers and all of the structures associated with the new automated people mover.
That represents the lion’s share of Tampa International’s historic $943 million expansion. It’s no easy feat.
While they may look like simple trailers, they are every bit as sophisticated as a regular brick-and-mortar office, complete with cubicles, break rooms, bathrooms and even small and large conference rooms. They’ve got power, data, utilities, printers –everything needed for a successful office.
From inside the trailers, HCAA and its contractors will be able to quickly respond to new developments and coordinate with the myriad different contractors working on the project.
“The project trailer complex will give us the ability to have all of the key people from the Authority, contractors, program managers and others together in one place,” said Al Illustrato, the Authority’s Vice President of Facilities and Administration. “This will dramatically improve communication, collaboration and the speed of resolving issues.”
He said it also makes the construction more real.
“By being located next to the construction activity, you also really feel the energy of the work going on around you,” he said.
HCAA personnel, including project managers, inspectors and safety personnel, are housed out of the 8-plex trailer compound. Austin and its team occupy the 9-plex, 10-plex and massive 12-plex trailer compound.
At the peak time, close to 20 Authority personnel will move into the trailers. Austin will have roughly 80 people out there.
“We’re really excited about moving out to Trailer City,” said Dan Seeley, a Project Manager on the rental car facility project. “It really is where the rubber meets the road. Being onsite and next door to Austin allows our team to closely monitor all aspects of the design and construction process and to provide the best product at the end of the day.”
It took quite a bit of effort to get the trailers up and running.
First, crews had to clear and level several acres of land, making sure it was fit for the trailers. Then the trailers arrived one-by-one on semi-trucks and were assembled into larger structures.
While these trailers represent the biggest cluster, construction trailers are literally popping up all across the airport’s campus.
Skanska has a set of trailers located near the Main Terminal along the closed Airside D walkway. Cone & Graham, the design-builder on Taxiway J, and Johnson Bros, a civil contractor, have trailers near the Airport’s Cell Phone Lot. Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, which is leading the charge on the automated people mover, began assembling two trailers on Tuesday to be used for design. They’ll add more trailers once construction begins.