Tyndall rebuild is gearing up for simultaneous dynamic improvements 

  • Published
  • By Sarah McNair
  • AFIMSC Public Affairs

TYNDALL AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. – The Tyndall rebuild effort is gaining momentum with a series of new military construction (MILCON) awards.

Since April, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has awarded seven new contracts, nudging the Air Force Civil Engineer Center’s Natural Disaster Recovery Division closer to the midpoint of the five-to-seven-year-long rebuild process.

April-May 2022 Tyndall Rebuild MILCON Awards:

• April 13 — Small Arms Range Facility 
• April 29 — Site Development, Utilities and Demolition Phases 1 and 2
• May 6 — Tyndall and Airey Gate Complexes
• May 10 — F-35 Facilities 
• May 11— Morale, Wellness and Recreation (MWR) Marina and Outdoor Recreation 
• May 25 — Operations Support Squadron/Radar Approach Control Center (OSS/RAPCON) and Special Purpose Vehicle Maintenance Facility 
• May 26 — MWR Sports Complex and Pool Facility

“By the end of July, we should see the refueler vehicle maintenance and Zone 1 F-35 flightline facilities break ground.” said Col. Travis Leighton, NDR division chief. “We plan to award at least nine more projects this summer and break ground on several previously awarded projects before the end of the year.”

The recently awarded utilities infrastructure site development project is the second largest MILCON award for the Tyndall rebuild to date. This $567 million effort includes a $357.9 million project awarded to The Lane Construction Corporation. Lane will be directly supported by the current privatized utilities providers at Tyndall to deliver a network of roads and utility systems to connect approximately 120 new and 260 renovated facilities at Tyndall, said Ken Webb, AFCEC NDR Division project manager. 

“They will design and construct new utilities and infrastructure for all current and future base facilities,” Webb said. “It’s a complex project that requires effective planning and coordination among the Air Force, general contractor and utility privatization system owners.”

The NDR division’s Tyndall Program Management Office is overseeing more than 40 new MILCON projects spanning 12 zones. The utilities infrastructure is part of Zone 4, which also includes three entry control facilities: the commercial gate complex, which was awarded Sept. 8, 2021, to EMR, Inc., and the Tyndall and Airey gates on May 6, 2022, to B.L. Harbert International, LLC.

The utilities infrastructure includes over 24 miles of electrical, nine miles of communication systems, seven miles of potable water, six miles of storm water, four miles of natural gas and two miles of wastewater infrastructure. AFCEC’s real estate experts, USACE and the Defense Logistics Agency coordinated with utility system owners to for additional improvements to ensure reliable utility services through existing service contracts. The system owners will construct new primary electrical, potable water and natural gas lines, while MILCON contractors will coordinate the connection. 

Zone 4 infrastructure will also deliver over 31 acres of road networks designed with Airmen and families in mind, Leighton said.

 “We’re delivering infrastructure that supports a more walkable, pedestrian-friendly installation, better traffic flow and a corridor connecting the support side to the flightline side of the installation,” Leighton said.

Other improvements include roundabouts to improve traffic flow and reduce emissions, a more flexible and resilient communication system and a consolidated pumping station with a one-million-gallon water storage tank for F-35 and flightline fire and emergency services. 

“Since everything is going in at once, we have the opportunity to construct a fire suppression pumping station with one tank large enough to support all the flightline hangars,” Webb said. “This is more economical and efficient for mission-critical facilities.”

On May 6, USACE awarded the final Zone 4 contract to BL Harbert International, LLC to construct the Tyndall and Airey entry control facilities. The $42.8 million project includes gate and lane houses, canopies, overwatch positions, barrier systems and roadway serpentines. 

The Tyndall PMO is working with the City of Panama City and the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) on separate improvement projects that support Tyndall’s infrastructure, Webb said. 

For example, FDOT is managing two roadway improvements that will separate base traffic from through traffic. An overpass will elevate travel lanes above the base’s entry control facilities and an underpass will allow on-base travelers to drive from the support side of the base to the flightline side without exiting the installation. 

Both FDOT projects will increase security and efficiency for the base, said Maj. Jordan Criss, 325th Security Forces Squadron commander. 

“The Highway 98 overpass will redirect traffic properly and reduce heavier traffic flows to get to the installation,” Criss said. “The Louisiana underpass will provide a direct connection for personnel traveling across base and, if needed, allow us to close the flightline gates and retain secure access.” 

Equally important to the Installation of the Future’s utilities and flightline facilities are the morale, welfare and recreation projects that will directly affect quality of life for Airmen and families, said Peter Sartori, AFCEC NDR division project manager.

The first MWR project will revitalize the 325th Force Support Squadron’s outdoor recreation offerings with a new MWR Marina and Outdoor Recreation Center. At a total cost of $53 million, the two-story facility includes ground-level storage and a restaurant, multipurpose recreation room, outdoor seating and an observation deck on the second level.

The second project awarded for MWR will provide a new sports complex with three softball fields, a baseball field and a recreational building as well as a new outdoor pool facility with a splash park, playground and bath house.

“These facilities will enhance the lives of Tyndall’s Airmen and families while increasing their fitness, resilience and readiness by offering both physically active and relaxing leisure activities, Sartori said. 

Despite upcoming construction activity, Tyndall planners said they have been working on solutions to keep gate traffic delays to a minimum. Criss said both gates will remain fully operational. 

To learn more about the Tyndall rebuild effort, visit the Tyndall Program Management Office website.