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Construction error delays completion of $99 million airport tower

Reported by: Fatima Rahmatullah
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Updated: 8/09 8:14 am
LAS VEGAS (AP) - Authorities say a construction error will delay completion of a $99 million Federal Aviation Administration tower at McCarran International Airport, and could cost millions of dollars to fix.

The FAA acknowledged the delay in a statement, citing what it called "issues" that need to be resolved.

Agency spokesman Allen Kenitzer declined further comment on Friday.

An official with Chicago-based Walsh Construction and Archer Western Contractors didn't immediately respond Friday to a message.

A McCarran Airport tower that was expected to be operational next year is delayed for at least another year. The delay is because of a construction error; a chemical coating was applied incorrectly, according to FAA workers familiar with the tower. They say the chemical is used to prevent the spread of mold.

That chemical starts to flake when the towers air condition unit is turned on. The ductwork, walls and subfloors may need to be cut into to fix the problem. The flaking of that chemical is a potential health hazard to workers.

"If you're sitting in an office these folks are working in the control tower," said Michael Perrone, the President of Professional Aviation Safety Specialists, who represents some 40 FAA workers at McCarran International Airport. "These flakes are flying out and, depending on where you're sitting, potentially the safety aspect of it, it could come out and hit your eye."

Work began in June 2011 on the 352-foot tower, along with a four-story Terminal Radar Approach Control building.

The initial 2015 completion date is now 2017.
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