Runway funding awarded

February 11, 1998|By AMY WALLAUER

Runway funding awarded

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - The Eastern West Virginia Regional Airport Authority was awarded a $200,000 grant this week to renovate runway and taxiway signs.

Airport Manager William Walkup said the grant is the second phase of an electrical project started with a $160,000 grant in 1997.

"Basically, what we have is a multitude of signs and guidance apparatus that aren't functional or (are) out of compliance," Walkup said.


The Federal Aviation Administration ordered the upgrades for the signs, which direct pilots to runways. Many don't work, are too small or are 20 to 30 years old.

The upgrades are a safety issue, Walkup said.

"If a pilot comes in and is supposed to turn on taxiway Delta, he doesn't know where that is because the sign is nonfunctional or out of his visibility," Walkup said.

The $200,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation is 90 percent of the projected cost. The state Department of Aeronautics will match 5 percent, or $11,111.

Berkeley County and the City of Martinsburg - co-owners of the airport - are expected to kick in 2.5 percent each, or $5,555.56.

The total $222,222.22 will cover engineering, design and planning, and bid documents.

Walkup said the Airport Authority will accept bids in the spring and anticipates completion of the project by the fall.

In Walkup's 10 years with the regional airport, the authority has received grants for upgrading every year.

Some other projects paid for with grant money since 1988:

* A 35,000-foot taxiway was repaved with a Department of Defense grant.

* Lights were repaired on 7,000-foot and 5,000-foot runways.

* 15,000 linear feet of fencing was installed.

* More than $80,000 in snow removal equipment was purchased.

"We've been very successful. I just thank our political constituents in Washington for walking us through," Walkup said.

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