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By Brenda Sommer

HAGÅTÑA, Guam (January 2, 2002 – Pacific Daily News)---Bids for the first phase of a runway project at Guam's international airport have come in much lower than expected.

Airport Executive Manager Jerry Yingling said the government estimated the first phase of a runway extension and renovation project would cost about $7.75 million, but the "best-looking" bid for that work is $4.9 million.

"I am extremely pleased -- the bids are looking delightful," he said.

The first phase of the federally funded, multiphase project covers earthwork and grading, and the entire project is expected to take two years and cost $20 million, Yingling said.

The airport has two runways, and uses one as a taxiway for planes. The project that is about to begin will extend the length of both runways by 2,000 feet each, revamp the World War II-era main runway, and add a separate taxiway for planes.

The taxiway is a safety measure, so that planes don't have to drive on runways when entering and leaving the airport, Yingling explained.

This is the second major government construction project this week that has attracted bids lower than expected.

Sen. Felix Camacho, R-Tamuning and chairman of the legislative Committee on Tourism, Transportation and Economic Development, said Sunday that bids for the $20 million second phase of the Tumon redevelopment project have come in lower than expected.

"This is a very good way to begin the new year, after all the difficulties the island faced over the last few months," Camacho said.

"With two projects of this magnitude, there will be more money circulating in the economy soon."

For additional reports from the Pacific Daily News, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Newspapers/Pacific Daily News (Guam).

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