Airport runway pavement delayed

WINTERSVILLE – Board members say it’s unlikely they’ll be able to pave the runway at the Jefferson County Airpark before spring.

The airport authority, meeting Tuesday due to the Columbus Day holiday, learned commissioners will have to re-advertise for bids for the aggregates needed for the project. With the paving season in its final days, members said there’s not enough time to readvertise the project, which came in substantially higher than the engineer’s estimate the first time around.

“It may be an indication we need to wait until spring to finish the project,” county Commissioner Thomas Gentile told the board. “We’re kidding ourselves, with the scope of the project and the stumbling blocks we’re running into. We don’t really have a reason to do anything this fall as opposed to waiting for spring.”

Later, though, Gentile said they’re “extremely happy” with the progress being made by the contractor doing the dirt work, Cast & Baker of Canonsburg, Pa. He said the company’s crews have been “working very aggressively, working long days and making great progress.”

“For us to have to delay paving is a shame,” he said. “But there’s not much we can do about it. Meeting Federal Aviation Administration specs on asphalt is not easy to do.”

He said paving isn’t a cold-weather activity, either.

“We’re getting the dirt work done, we’ll be in good shape,” he said. “It would be really tough to do much more at this time of year.”

In other business, a Weirton businessman’s inquiry into leasing space in one of the hangars was taken under advisement.

The FAA requires airports receiving federal funding to give aviation users first priority. While the business in question specializes in cars, the owner said it can assist plane owners as well.

The board also met behind closed doors to discuss possible litigation.