Commissioners award final runway extension contract

November 22, 2006|by TARA REILLY



Hagerstown Regional Airport is moving closer to completing an approximately $61 million runway extension project.

The Washington County Commissioners on Tuesday awarded an $8.2 million contract for the extension's fourth and final package to L.W. Wolfe Enterprises Inc. of Myersville, Md.

Wolfe's bid was nearly $1.3 million lower than one submitted by Valley Quarries Inc. of Chambersburg, Pa. No other contractors bid on the work.


The commissioners approved the contract with Wolfe by a 4-1 vote.

Commissioners Vice President William J. Wivell voted against the contract. Wivell has a history of opposing motions dealing with the runway extension.

He voted against the overall project in 2003, citing millions in interest the county will pay to finance the project.

Commissioner John C. Munson also originally opposed the project, but he supported Tuesday's contract.

Airport Consultant Mahesh S. Kukata said the extension project is on budget. The first two packages have been completed, he said.

The third package, which includes the relocation of U.S. 11, is expected to be completed by May 2007, according to a schedule on the airport's Web site.

The runway will extend over U.S. 11.

The fourth package includes paving the runway and taxiway extensions, relocating a gas main, and installing navigational aids and airfield lighting.

The entire project is scheduled for completion in December 2007.

Munson asked Tuesday whether the airport would close while the paving work is in progress.

Kukata said closures likely would take place during weekends to minimize interruptions. The paving work will begin in the spring.

The extension 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 Federal Aviation Administration has said it would contribute $47 million for the project's construction. The state has agreed to pay $10.6 million, and the county's share is $2.6 million, not including interest.

Know more ... in 30 seconds

The issue: Hagerstown Regional Airport is in the process of an approximately $61 million runway extension.

What's new: The Washington County Commissioners on Tuesday approved an $8.2 million contract for the fourth and final package of the extension. The first two packages are complete, and the third package is expected to be completed by May 2007.

What's next: Runway and taxiway extensions will be paved, airfield lighting and navigational aids will be installed and a gas main will be relocated as part of the fourth package. The county anticipates the extension project to be completed in December 2007.

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