Runway work to begin soon

WINTERSVILLE – Work on the runway extension at Jefferson County Airpark could be under way within the week.

At Monday’s meeting, the airport authority agreed to ask commissioners to sign the contract for the dirt work when they meet this week. Once that happens, the contractor, Canonsburg, Pa., based Cast & Baker, will be issued a notice to proceed.

While the project specifications have changed slightly from what the bid documents had suggested, board members were advised that they don’t need to readvertise that part of the project because there’s been less than a 10 percent overall change.

“Basically, (it’s) the same project in terms of volume,” Commissioner Tom Gentile said. “There’s a slight change in the scope, but the volume remains the same.”

Cast & Baker had bid $747,975 for the work.

Gentile said the notice to proceed means Cast & Baker “can start mobilizing Friday and begin construction Monday.”

The paving contract, however, will have to be rebid because the changes in that part of the project are much more substantial.

“We’ll have to rebid, with a plan to pave in late October,” Gentile said, saying the board’s goal is to have “everything except the overlay” done this year.

The county is eligible for federal funding for a significant portion of the overlay work, so that part of the project will be delayed pending FAA approvals.

Meanwhile, the electrical work also must be rebid, and the county also must advertise for aggregate.

The airport board initially had planned to extend the runway by 500 feet, maintaining the width at 60 feet and extending the taxiway the full length of the 5,000 foot runway. The Federal Aviation Administration, however, pointed out that the standard for airports in the B-II classification is 75 feet wide and in order to comply, the board opted to instead widen the runway by 15 feet and incorporate turnarounds at both ends of the runway.

As funding becomes available, they’ll develop a full-length taxiway.

The board also agreed to ask commissioners to reimburse them for nearly $28,000 they spent on materials to relocate their water line outside the runway extension project area.

FAA approval of the county’s snow equipment grant application paved the way for purchase of a bidirectional tractor, snow blower, broom and blade. Total cost is nearly $174,689, with the FAA supplying all but about $17,500 of the project cost.

The board also met in separate executive sessions to discuss hangar leases and personnel.