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News Macon airport runway paving project set to be completed August 6

Recent rain events have hampered paving and sealing efforts at the Macon County Airport, causing the company to revamp its strategies for completing the project. Photo by Travis TallentThe Macon County Airport Authority held its monthly meeting on Tuesday afternoon. While some of the members were absent as a result of other obligations, one seat was left vacant by the late Harold Corbin.

“Harold was a long time member of the airport authority,” said Chairman Milles Gregory. “We'll certainly miss him. He was a very passionate supporter of the airport and was always willing to do whatever he could to help us do what needed to be done down here.”

The board will need to fill the void left by Corbin's passing and intends to submit a recommendation to the board of commissioners at next month's commissioner meeting.

James Luther, Senior Project Manager of W.K. Dickson – the consulting firm who has been coordinating the airport's projects for the last few years – was on hand to share an update of the runway widening project with board members.

“Weather has certainly affected the work,” he told the board, pointing to the recent rains as reason for the delay. “They got like .8 of an inch last night in probably 40 minutes. That's slowed them down a little bit.”

Workers from Reeves Construction have also changed their approach to sealing the runway. When the local climate presented problems for the company, they had to develop a different strategy to seal the cracks.

The board was also informed that the airport would not need to shut down during the week of July 4 and would instead shut down the week of July 16.

“They sent me a letter last week. They are not on schedule as far as their calendar day schedule goes but they do have some impacts that are weather related and then some for the cracks sealant area. I told the contractor that I'd speak with you all today and see if you're okay with it. The sixth of August is their estimated completion date. They've still got paving to do but that should go pretty quick, the lighting and they still have to put the edge drains in,” Luther told the board.

Despite being behind schedule, he also informed the board that they would undercut the budget for the project by $170 as a result of needing to do less excavating than previously thought.

Grant update

Teresa McDowell, clerk for the MCAA, provided an update of all existing grants that are in the works for the authority. The grants described are for projects done in the past, ongoing at this time, or planned for the future.

– Grant # 36237.1.11.3: Final grant that has been allowed by the Department of Aviation for the Runway Extension Project. Invoices for the projects have been paid and reimbursed through the current date. An extension for the grant was requested and accepted by the DOA. The close-out date for the grant is now July 1, 2015. The amount left in the grant is $252,690.93 and is earmarked for TRC lab analysis costs, the company who conducted the environmental assessment that was done in connection to the lengthening project.

– Grant # 36244.2.11.2: Grant awarded for the apron rehabilitation project. The project cost more than initially anticipated. The final reimbursement for the grant was received at a total of $149,912.52, which is only a portion of the amount associated to the project. The grant is now closed.

– Grant # 36237.1.14.1: The 2013-2014 NPE grant. The DOA awards these each year in the amount of $150,000. There is a 10 percent match of $16,667 required for which the county commissioners have already approved; $37,230.65 will be used to pay the remaining amount for the apron project; $12,000 will also be used to reimburse Macon County; and $114,667 has not been specified for a particular project. The Grant Award Contract was received on June 23, 2014.

– Grant # 36237.1.13.2: The scope of the project is Widen Runway to 100 foot and Runway Rehabilitation. There have been delays in getting the grant settled but the commissioners have voted for the match required and the contract has been signed. The amount is $2,687,344 (DOA funding - $2,418,609/Local match - $268,734)

– Grant # 36237.1.14.2: The scope of the project is to rehabilitate the runway and parallel taxi-way. The award letter is dated November 22, 2013. The grant has not been processed yet, nor has a 10 percent match been requested or approved by the commissioners. The total amount of the grant is $2,250,000 with a required 10 percent match of $250,000. This is a federal grant.

Gregory and board member Pete Haithcock thanked McDowell for the update.

The next meeting will take place on July 29 at 4 p.m. at the airport.


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