Wilhelm wins stadium connector project-WEB ONLY

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Indianapolis-based F.A. Wilhelm Construction Co. Inc. has been chosen to build a street-level enclosed connector linking the Indiana Convention Center to Lucas Oil Stadium, the Indiana Stadium & Convention Building Authority announced yesterday afternoon.

Wilhelm, which bid $11.8 million for the project, submitted the lowest bid of six companies vying for the work, said Lori Dunlap, deputy director of the ISCBA.

Others that submitted bids were Pepper Construction Co. Indiana LLC and Jungclaus-Campbell Co. of Indianapolis; RL Turner Corp. and J.C. Ripberger Construction Corp. of Zionsville; and Weddle Brothers Construction Co. Inc. of Bloomington.

The quarter-mile connector will be on the Capitol Avenue side of the convention center. It will connect to an already completed tunnel that travels from South Street to the stadium.

The project should be completed late next year.

Construction of the connector includes what is known as a vertical transportation building that houses stairs, elevators and escalators to shuttle visitors to and from the underground segment of the walkway.

The climate-controlled connector also will link the stadium to numerous downtown hotels, restaurants and Circle Centre mall via the existing network of skywalks tied to the convention center.

The walkway will be essential in drawing some of the largest events the city hosts, including mega-conventions, NCAA Final Fours and the Super Bowl in 2012.

The connector should be finished about the same time the $275 million expansion of the convention center is set to be finished.

Including the stadium, the Indianapolis Convention and Visitors Association will have 1.2 million square feet of space, 65 percent more than it had in the existing convention center and RCA Dome.

F.A. Wilhelm is the city’s second-largest construction contractor behind Hunt Construction Group, the construction manager on the stadium project. F.A. Wilhelm had local billings of $478 million in 2008, according to IBJ statistics.

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