Contract negotiations are ongoing with two engineering firms that were selected to serve as project manager for the construction of Williston’s new airport. 

City commissioners unanimously approved a recommendation by City Administrator David Tuan to work with Fargo-based Ulteig and AE2S, which is headquartered in Grand Forks, during the board’s regular meeting this week. 

The two companies, both of which have offices in Williston, submitted a joint proposal outlining a plan to take on the role of project manager, which will include oversight and cooperation with engineers, tribal representatives, contractors and utility companies, among others, Tuan said. 

A committee that included Tuan, newly-appointed airport director Anthony Dudas and other city officials received four proposals from companies around the country, including one from KLJ Engineering, which had previously been serving as project manager. 

That contract recently expired, prompting project heads to advertise for bids in an effort to save money and make sure the position was filled by a company experienced in airport projects and working with the Federal Aviation Administration. 

“We taking competitive proposals to see who comes in the lowest,” Tuan said before the April 21 deadline. 

Now, the selected companies and city officials are working to finalize the project manager contract, which will include expected duties and payment amounts. 

The role adds another layer of accountability to the Williston Basin International Airport project, which is being overseen by Cardon Global, an Arizona development company that has a $5 million contract to represent the city’s interests. city officials say. 

“It will be a lot of different relationships that they’re in the middle of; they’re kind of being the ringmaster,” Tuan said of the project manager’s position. 

KLJ, which is based in Bismarck but has a Williston office, remains the engineer

of record.

The company is also acting as a construction observer until a contract for that position is awarded. 

Proposals for the job, which requires engineers to be on site to document the project’s construction, are due today and a contract is expected to be awarded in May. 

Preliminary construction at the location of the new $250 million airport, which is to replace Sloulin Field International Airport, began last week as workers started to move tons of dirt to level out a runway area. 

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