The runway has a lot of wear and tear and with the airport being more than 60 years old its a priority to make sure the runway is properly maintained and updated under FAA guidelines. These repairs wont be a big change you can see but it will extend the life of the pavement.The fire station it was built back in the 70's and needs a face lift to better serve the firemen and the airport. These projects will cost around 3.4 million dollars.
On Tuesday the airport authority approved their capital improvement plans to begin 2 projects funded through the Federal Aviation Administration. Director of the Airport Barbara McNally said they started seeing problems on the runway and wanted to address them which included sealing cracks and joints on parts of the runway.
"Water seeps into those cracks, it cause the panels to crack under shift so if we are making that water tight its going to extend the life of that payment," McNally said.
The repairs will extend the runway's life by 10 years. Crews will work at night when the last flight comes in. The construction is expected to be complete by the end of the year.
The second project will focus on fire station number 2 which is on the northern edge of the airport. McNally said the building was built 47 years ago and has a list of problems.
"There has been structural issues, shifting, a concrete slab construction so as things move the slabs are cracking," said McNally.
Over the years as the station got new trucks that were much wider, McNally said it's now impossible to park them in the bays.
"They have a quarter of inch of clearance on either side so it has just out-lived its usefulness," said McNally.
McNally adds the new station will me a lot more functional that the one they have now and will be easier on fire crews when coming in and out of the airport or responding to calls in the area.
McNally said they have also begun discussing renovations to the airport's boarding gate and baggage claim area, and widening security lanes. McNally said these renovations are also critical needs for the airport.
"The public doesn't see a lot of the improvements that we make, with the runway you are not probably going to see anything, but the projects like the new construction of the fire station, the changes to the terminal those are the improvements the public is going to see and that is exciting...anytime you can make something better is going to be good," McNally said.
Engineers have already been out surveying parts of the runway that need the most work. Construction will begin in September and is expected to be complete by the end of this year.
The fire station will follow and will take about 9 months until finished. As for those renovations inside the airport, McNally said those are still 3 to 5 years away.