- Ed Richter Staff Writer
Work is expected to begin soon on improving the taxiway at the Middletown Regional Airport/Hook Field.
The airport received a $1.1 million grant from the Ohio Department of Transportation at the end of its Fiscal Year 2016 program.
“This project is incredibly important to the airport’s future,” said Matt Eisenbraun, Middletown assistant economic development director. “With our ongoing preventive maintenance program in place, this project will give these areas 20-30 years of useful life and keep our planes in a safe environment.”
The latest Pavement Condition Index of the taxiways and aprons indicated that rehabilitation was needed and ODOT recognized that the resurfacing needed to be done.
The city hired Brandstetter Carroll for professional service to have the engineering done and to administer the project grant. After the design phase was completed, the project went out for bid with two companies responding.
The John R. Jurgensen Co. of Cincinnati had the lowest and best bid of $955,652 to do the taxiway and apron resurfacing, which was lower than the $1.02 million bid submitted by Barrett Paving Materials, Inc. of Franklin. The contract was awarded by City Council at its May 2 meeting.
Officials said that the John Jurgensen Co. has previously worked with the city at the airport.
The ODOT grant will cover 95 percent of the project costs with city’s covering the remaining 5 percent. Officials said the city’s payment to Brandstetter Carroll for the engineering service more than covers its 5 percent share of the project costs.
Eisenbraun said construction could begin sometime in June after contracts are finalized.
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.
The longest closure of a ramp/apron will be for seven days, he said.
“Access to the grass runway will be maintained throughout the entire project so many of our local users, including the skydivers, should be able to continue operations with minimal disruption,” Eisenbraun said.
He said the airport is currently reviewing funding opportunities for replace its Automated Weather Observation System, which has reached the end of its 20-year useful life. Eisenbraun said the airport was the first in southwest Ohio to receive this new technology in 1997 and rising maintenance costs have reached to the point to rehab that system. The city has bids of more than $100,000 in hand and would like to get that completed by the end of the year, he said.
Eisenbraun said the next major projects for the airport are the runway/taxiway lighting system and rehabilitation of the runway pavement which 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.