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Fungus blamed for latest delay in new McCarran tower | News

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Fungus blamed for latest delay in new McCarran tower
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LAS VEGAS -- Construction on the new tower at McCarran International Airport began in 2011.

It was supposed to give air traffic controllers better airfield views and handle McCarran's ever-growing air traffic demands.

The nation's eighth-busiest airport will have to wait as much as two years while problems with the tower are resolved.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., and others welcomed the new tower project in 2011. Safety and modernizing the airport were the headlines.

The old tower, which was built in the early 80s, was outdated and built before McCarran's air traffic increased dramatically.

Construction began and soon the tower was a very visible presence. Construction was supposed to end in 2013.

After all the electronics, air traffic control computers, heating and air conditioning systems were to be installed, it would be up running in early 2015. Now, that date is pushed back to 2017.

From issues with plumbing to a government shutdown to a potentially toxic fungus, the Federal Aviation Administration says there have been some snags.

The Associated Press has reported the latest delay stems from a contractor who used a material to combat a fungus.

The FAA said it has a diligent inspection and oversight process and is closely monitoring the construction of the new Las Vegas air traffic control tower and terminal radar approach control facilities or TRACON.

The FAA identified some construction issues and is working with the contractor to address them.

8 News NOW called the contractor, Archer Western based out of Chicago, to get to the bottom of the construction issues. They were not returned.

An FAA spokesperson said there hasn't been any change in the $99 million price tag for the project.

The FAA estimates McCarran air traffic will increase to more than 700,000 flights per year by 2020. McCarran handled more than half a million flights in 2010.

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