Detroit Metropolitan Airport, Twin Bay Boeing 747 Hangar

Northwest Airlines
Romulus, Michigan
128,000 square feet
Skillings Ward Magnusson
Construction Management-At-Risk

Northwest Airlines required a new maintenance hangar at Detroit Metropolitan Airport in order to service an increasing number of international flights, including direct flights to Asia utilizing Boeing 747s.

The project scope combined more than 110,000 square feet of new space, including maintenance shop areas, administrative areas, and locker rooms. The clear space in the hangar is 489 feet.

As prime contractor, Walbridge provided a partnering role to the owner and design team. Walbridge engaged the structural engineering services of a third-party firm to conduct a value-engineered redesign prior to contract award. This firm’s innovative approach to long-span hangar design yielded a building a third lighter than the original design – saving 1,000 tons of steel.

The value-engineered redesign along with changes to mechanical systems prior to contract award saved the client $1.2 million, while maintaining the originally scheduled completion date. In addition, the aircraft layout within the hangar allowed a narrow body aircraft (B-737 style) to fit between two B-747 aircraft, thus increasing the use of the area without increasing the hangar area or the span. Construction cost for the project was $26.3 million.