GALLIPOLIS — The Gallia-Meigs Regional Airport’s roughly $1 million rehabilitation is complete.
According to Gallia County Administrator Karen Sprague, final inspections for the runway rehabilitation projects were completed Nov. 19. The runway’s overall rehabilitation consisted of two projects: an airport and grading drainage project as well as the actual runway rehabilitation itself.
The rehabilitation was required by the Federal Aviation Administration and Ohio Department of Aviation to remove obstructions and safety hazards along the runway and approach areas. The project contract was awarded to Sexton’s Excavating of Jackson. The grading took 82 days to finish. The contract amount for the project was $469,960.88. A federal FAA granted paid 90 percent of the project. The county contribution was 10 percent in a funding match.
The runway rehabilitation was also required by the FAA and ODOT because of a deteriorated condition of the runway’s asphalt surface as it could pose as a safety hazard to aircraft during landing and takeoff. The contract was awarded to Shelly Co., of Thornsville, Ohio, and it took 50 days to complete. The total contract cost $922, 580. A federal grant paid 90 percent of the project while the county funds were matched at 10 percent.
“This is the best our airport has ever looked since I worked here, 31 years ago,” Sprague said. “The safety and obstructions issues are a big deal, so we are very happy they are all resolved now. When you can get things done with 90 percent grant funding, that is a wonderful thing. The airport fund could never afford the entire cost of projects like this, but we can afford the 10 percent local match with proper planning and money management.”
Actual work on the runway began in early October. The runway was closed in late September. Asphalt milling and bituminous surface coursing also began in early October. Crews seeded the surrounding runway lawn and replaced soil in mid October. Crew workers made permanent runway and taxiway markings Nov. 16-19.
New grooving was cut down the length of the runway at roughly one-quarter inch deep to help displace water and protect aircraft from hydroplaning during crucial moments in movement.
The runway currently measures 3,999 feet long and 75 feet wide.
“I’ve known some of the local (industrial) plants to fly product in and out occasionally,” Montgomery stated earlier in the year. “Some people may view it as just a recreational area (the airport), but it is an important tool in our (Gallia-Meigs) economic development.”
Dean Wright can be reached at (740) 446-2342, Ext. 2103.