By KEVIN BOWDEN
Everett-Stewart Regional Airport construction projects continue to move forward this winter.
“We’re at the very tail end of closing that out,” airport consultant Randy Hudgings told the airport board this morning, referring to the more than $4.4 million runway extension project.
He said the final checklist items and grant close-out phase of the project should be completed in about a week.
The local airport’s runway extension project involved extending the runway from 5,000 feet to 6,500 feet. The new runway is the longest airport runway in West Tennessee, outside Shelby County, and is capable of handling 80 percent of business aircraft, according to airport manager Jo Ann Speer.
About 90 percent of the 1,500-foot runway extension’s $4,464,000 pricetag was covered by state and federal aviation grants, Mrs. Speer told The Messenger.
Work on the runway extension project actually began in 2008 and the project was completed in June 2011. A formal dedication ceremony for the new runway was held June 29, 2011, and was attended by numerous local, state and federal officials involved in the project.
Now, after nearly five years, Hudgings said the project is virtually complete.
Hudgings is the airport’s consultant for construction projects. He and consultant Tim Gibson represent the Memphis consulting firm Barge, Waggoner, Sumner & Cannon Inc. Both were at today’s meeting.
Hudgings and Gibson also briefed the airport board on progress on several other projects, including security fencing upgrades, a taxilane connector and drainage improvements, an airport layout plan, airfield electrical work, a runway sealing project, a new multiple-unit rectangular hangar and an agricultural development area.
Gibson told the airport board the taxilane connector project is in “close-out phase essentially.”
“It’s looking pretty good,” he said.
The multi-unit rectangular hangar is about 95 percent complete and the contract for the agricultural development area has been awarded to Ford Construction Co., according to Gibson. He said work on the agricultural hangar should begin this spring and is expected to be completed within two months.
In other action at today’s near-hour-long meeting, the airport board:
• Approved a recommendation from the board’s maintenance committee to require $1 million in liability insurance for pilots renting space at the airport. The board also approved a recommendation to charge $180 a month rent for space in the new airport hangars.
• Approved a recommendation from the board’s personnel committee to help sponsor Mrs. Speer’s participation in a cross-country air race later this year.
• Discussed the need to add new security cameras at the airport. The airport currently has 16 cameras and will be adding new cameras courtesy of a recently approved state grant.
• Tabled action on an airport audit until the board’s February meeting.
• Was informed the WestStar program and the Obion County Chamber of Commerce have held special meetings at the airport in recent weeks. Mrs. Speer said the airport will be involved in a couple of upcoming events — a visit by the Tennessee Outdoor Writers Association in April and a planned Airport Day in May.
• Briefly discussed plans being developed for ditch work and tree clearing at the airport and plans by the state to resurface Highway 22 East between Union City and Martin.
Absent from today’s meeting were board members Jim Bondurant and Kay Stegall.
The airport board’s next scheduled meeting has been set for 7 a.m. Feb. 28.
Staff Reporter Kevin Bowden may be contacted by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Published in The Messenger 1.17.13