- Ed Richter Staff Writer
The main runway at Middletown Regional Airport/Hook Field has reopened after being closed part of last week while crews started a paving and rehabilitation project of its aprons, ramps and taxiways.
Closure of the main runway, one of the longest in Ohio, was required by the Federal Aviation Administration because heavy equipment was working within 200 feet of the runway, according to Matt Eisenbraun, assistant city economic development director.
“It will take four to six weeks to do the in-depth rehabilitation work,” he said.
Eisenbraun said the work is being completed through a $1.1 million grant from the Ohio Department of Transportation at the end of its Fiscal Year 2016 program that covered 95 percent of the project costs. He said the work is expected to be completed in mid-October.
He said the work would be done in seven steps, he said, each of which will include the closing of the runway or a portion of the taxiway for a short time. The plan was created with input from the airport users and staff so closures would be minimized in length and number, he said.
In May, Eisenbraun said, “this project is incredibly important to the airport’s future. With our ongoing preventive maintenance program in place, this project will give these areas 20 to 30 years of useful life and keep our planes in a safe environment.”
Middletown City Council awarded the contract May 2 to The John R. Jurgensen Co. of Cincinnati after submitting a bid of $955,652 to do the taxiway, ramp and apron resurfacing.
Officials said that the John Jurgensen Co. has previously worked with the city at the airport.
Eisenbraun said repaving and rehabbing the main runway will be a future capital improvement project but would not move forward until after the city completes the airport’s master plan in the next 18 months. He said the runway project and improvements to the airport’s runway/taxiway lighting system are both slated to be done between 2020 and 2022. He estimated the costs for the lighting system and runway pavement at $350,000 to $500,000 for each project.
Eisenbraun said the city was informed by the FAA that it is in line for about $400,000 in federal funding to develop the airport master plan. He expects legislation to go to City Council in September.