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Airport expansion viewed

June 08, 2005|by TARA REILLY

tarar@herald-mail.com

Hagerstown Regional Airport Manager Carolyn Motz joked that Tuesday was the only time scissors would be allowed in a secure area at the Washington County facility.

The Washington County Commissioners, airport officials and others were at the airport for a ribbon-cutting ceremony marking the completion of an expanded passenger holding area.

The new area, about 1,500 square feet, includes seating for about 50 people, a covered walkway and restrooms.

The project cost a little more than $900,000, according to information provided by the county.

The need for the expansion came about after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, when the federal government ordered tighter screening of passengers at airports.

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The addition of the screeners and equipment needed to conduct more thorough screening made space cramped in the terminal, the airport has said.

The commissioners awarded the project's construction contract to Excel Contractors Inc. of Hagerstown last year.

Also on Tuesday, the commissioners toured the runway extension project construction site off Air View Road, north of Hagerstown.

The $60.2 million project began in April 2004.

C. William Hetzer Inc. of Hagerstown received a $17.4 million contract to complete the first phase of the project, which includes hauling about 1.5 million cubic yards of fill dirt from the Forty West Landfill to the airport.

So far, about 1.3 million cubic yards of dirt have been transported to the airport construction site.

The extension project, which will increase the runway's length from 5,461 feet to 7,000 feet, is expected to be completed by 2007.

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