The total estimated cost of the Owen Roberts International Airport upgrade was nearly $68 million as of last week, an increase of some $14 million from original contract prices.

In response to a Cayman Compass records request, the Cayman Islands Airports Authority stated that the estimated cost of the airport development was $67,792,499 as of Thursday, April 4. The project should be finished by the end of June, and a final estimated cost will be released then, according to the CIAA.

The project’s total estimated cost was $53.8 million as of August 2016. Government had a budget of roughly $55.7 million for the project when it began, and increased the scope of the work by about $2.6 million once it began, according to records provided by the CIAA.

“As the project unfolded, the CIAA identified opportunities for increased passenger experience, safety, operational efficiencies and building enhancements,” the CIAA records state. “This figure represents these scope increases.”

The remaining roughly $9.5 million of expenditures were due to cost overruns because to design errors and omissions, unforeseen issues, client changes, and tenant changes, the CIAA’s records state.

Before the CIAA released its records last Thursday, the most recent estimate of the airport project’s cost was around $64 million – a figure that came from an August 2018 report from the Office of the Auditor General.

According to that report, the Airports Authority made multiple changes to the project after it started, including upgrading the hurricane-impact windows, adding canopies to protect passengers and baggage from the weather, upgrading banners on the roof, landscaping around the airport, and adding other designs such as the duty-free mall and the CIAA offices.

The report, released in January, estimated that these changes added nearly $5 million to the redevelopment price.

“Almost $5 million of these cost increases are as a result of additions in scope made to the project after contracts were signed, including hurricane-rated glass and canopies,” stated Auditor General Sue Winspear, adding, “Making changes to the scope of a project after a contract has been signed is not good practice.”

Other cost overruns were attributed to project delays.

For example, flaws in the designs of the electrical works led to an eight-week delay in construction starting for Phase 2 of the project, according to the report. Awarding the contract for the baggage-handling system was also 10 months late due to poor quality of tender materials, the report states.

“These delays have resulted in the project being rescheduled on more than one occasion and have contributed to increased costs,” the report states.