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County awards contract to relocate U.S. 11

August 24, 2005|by TARA REILLY

HAGERSTOWN

tarar@herald-mail.com

The Washington County Commissioners awarded a $17.4 million contract Tuesday to New Enterprise Stone & Lime Co. Inc. of New Enterprise, Pa., to perform the next phase of construction at Hagerstown Regional Airport.

The work, known as Package 3, is expected to begin in the next 30 days, according to a written statement from the airport.

The phase includes the relocation of U.S. 11 to accommodate the runway extension and the construction of two bridges and taxiway safety areas.

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The runway is planned to extend over U.S. 11. The project will lengthen the runway from 5,461 feet to 7,000 feet and add 1,000-foot safety areas at each end of the runway. The extension, at a cost of approximately $61 million, is expected to be completed in 2007.

Commissioner Doris J. Nipps said she researched New Enterprise and was confident the contractor would do a good job.

She said the contractor has a good reputation in Pennsylvania.

"I'm very confident in their ability to do this job," Nipps said.

Package 3 includes the relocation of 2,500 linear feet of U.S. 11, 400 linear feet of Byers Road and 900 linear feet of Air View Road.

Commissioners Vice President William J. Wivell was the only commissioner to vote against the contract.

He said he had problems with the project's financing, an issue that also troubled him last year.

The county might have to pay millions in interest to extend the runway, in addition to the $2.6 million the county has committed toward the project.

The Federal Aviation Administration has said it would contribute $47 million of the project's cost; the state has agreed to pay $10.6 million.

The commissioners in March 2004 awarded C. William Hetzer Inc. of Hagerstown a $17.4 million contract for Package 1, which included hauling dirt from the Forty West Landfill.

The second package, which includes construction of a hold apron, is expected to begin in spring 2006. Runway paving and taxiway extensions, part of Package 4, are expected to start in the winter of 2006, according to information included with the county's meeting agenda.

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