NOLA Airport Builders argues in its protest that the Aviation Board improperly jettisoned that competition because it did not show "just cause" as required by Louisiana law.Recall that "NOLA Airport Builders" (then known as Odebrecht-Parsons) had their "win" in the first round of this process thrown out, at least in part, because of... conflict of interest issues.
The protest also says that the Aviation Board's Review Committee, which judged the most recent competition, gave "erroneous and arbitrary" scores, dolling out too few points to NOLA Airport Builders and too many to Hunt-Gibbs-Boh-Metro. It also calls out the board for putting Kenneth Schwartz on the Review Committee, saying his inclusion presented a conflict of interest.
Robert Boh, chairman of Boh Bros. Construction, is an emeritus member of the board at Tulane University, where Schwartz is dean of the School of Architecture. The Boh family are noted Tulane donors, according to the protest.
Adding another twist to the already tangled awarding of a contract worth hundreds of millions of dollars — and potentially giving ammunition to a challenge by the losing bidder — it was reported this week that New Orleans Deputy Mayor Cedric Grant previously worked for one of the companies he recommended should oversee construction of a new terminal at Louis Armstrong International Airport.Maybe, if we keep trying, someone will submit a bid involving nobody who knows anybody. It might take a while to do that.. especially in this town. Good thing we're not trying to get this thing done on some sort of timeline.
Grant worked for Parsons Corp., one of the firms involved in the Parsons Odebrecht joint venture that he and other members of an evaluation committee last week scored as the best choice to manage construction of the $546 million terminal.
The $828 million construction project should create 13,000 jobs, according to materials handed out by the mayor’s office, and is scheduled to be completed in May 2018 — not so coincidentally the date of New Orleans’ tricentennial celebration.