A $4-million construction project at the McAlester Regional Airport is nearing completion.
McAlester Public Works Director David Horniek said contractors completed the runway lighting and are now finishing up the crack sealing and have started to paint the landing marks with the warmer weather.
When asked when the airport project will be complete, Horinek said the project was in the final stages and could be finished by the end of next month.
“(Consultant engineers) are very positive that it’s going to wrap up within four weeks or so.” Horinek said. “A lot of that is weather dependent; We’re hoping end of April.”
The city of McAlester applied in June 2018 for federal assistance for the project’s total cost of $4,613,502.35 through the FAA’s Airport Improvement Program with the help of Stillwater-based LBR Inc, which according to their website is a full-service engineering firm for airports since 1978.
But Horinek said LBR began helping the city four years ago in securing the funding for the project.
The $4.2-million construction project to rehabilitate runway 2/20 and connecting taxiways was awarded to Colorado-based Interstate Highway Construction, which according to its website, has recently completed airport projects at Tulsa International Airport and Vance Air Force Base in Enid.
The FAA announced on Aug. 24, 2018 the approval of $4,152,151 for the project with an award date of Sept. 4, 2018. Forty-six other projects in Oklahoma were approved for funding through the AIP program, including nearby airports in Holdenville and Wilburton.
A grant through the Oklahoma Aeronautics Commission will pay $230,275.17 toward the runway renovation. The city of McAlester will contribute the remaining cost of $230,676.18.
Horinek said periodic inspections revealed signs of wear on the runway.
The runway was forecast to have a pavement condition index of 52, according to documents from the OAC. The PCI is a numerical index from zero to 10 and is used to indicate the general condition of a pavement.
OAC documents show in 2016 that the runway, which is 5,602 feet by 100 feet, had three pavement sections exhibiting D-cracking, broken slabs, shatter slabs, corner breaks, corner spall, joint spall, and L/T cracks.
“Due to the distress, the pavement is deteriorating rapidly and generates a significant amount of foreign object debris,” the report stated.
Horinek said contractors have removed old sections of concrete, redone the base, poured concrete, did the stress relief cuts, and conducted inspections.
“Basically, the center section that gets the heaviest of use is what’s been replaced,” Horinek said. “Some of the outside areas were still in good shape.”
The next project at the airport will most likely deal with the taxiway, which is where planes are currently landing and taking off. “It’s limited, but the airport is operational and has not been closed the entire time,” Horinek said.
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