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Business/Money

June 26, 2014

Clark County Regional Airport authority accepting bids for runway project

Authority president says grant application will be sent day after bids are opened

SELLERSBURG — The runway extension project at the Clark County Regional Airport is getting closer to moving forward.

The South Central Regional Airport Authority will unseal bids July 9 for Phase 1 of the project to extend the runway from 5,500 feet to 7,000 feet, which will include grading, drainage work and the relocation of navigational equipment. The cost of Phase 1 of the project is estimated to be $3.5 million, said SCRAA President Tom Galligan.

The day after the bids are opened, the SCRAA will submit a grant application to the Federal Aviation Commission for the amount of the project. FAA grants call for a 5 percent state match and a 5 percent local match, which would make the SCRAA’s obligation about $191,000, according to the SCRAA’s capital improvement plan, or CIP.

FAA grant funds should be awarded by the end of September, but hopefully sooner, said Mike Harris, vice president with Jacobi, Toombs and Lanz, the engineering company contracted by the SCRAA for the project.

“We feel very optimistic about getting the grant to extend the runway,” Galligan said. “It’s in our CIP, and we spent a bunch of money relocating Bean Road to be able to spend this money, so we feel very optimistic about it.”

Galligan said he has had meetings with FAA representatives, Indiana Department of Transportation representatives and State Sen. Ron Grooms, R-Jeffersonville, about the project that left him feeling encouraged about the SCRAA’s chances to secure the grant funds.

Work on the project can begin within two to four weeks of the awarding of grant funds by the FAA, Harris said.

The runway extension project’s second phase will be bid out around this time next year, Harris said, and will be for the paving of the runway. The cost for Phase 2 of the project will be about $3.5 million, according to the CIP.

Extending the runway to 7,000 feet will give the airport a competitive advantage over smaller airfields in Louisville, Galligan said, as it will enhance the safety of the airport while increasing the maximum capacity of aircraft by weight permitted to use the runway.

“We think with the tax structure we’ve got, the longer runway and fuel costs, we think we’re going to attract a lot of people from different areas,” Galligan said.

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