Airport getting $8M for runway work
WILLIAMSTOWN — The Mid-Ohio Valley Regional Airport’s runway will be resurfaced thanks to $8 million from the U.S. Department of Transportation.
The funding was announced Monday afternoon in a joint release from U.S. Sens. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., and Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., both of whom are members of the Senate Appropriations Committee. Tri-State Airport in Huntington will also receive $10 million for runway improvements.
Mid-Ohio Valley Regional Airport officials originally applied for $18 million to repair the runway and replace its lighting system.
Airport Manager Glen Kelly said Monday the $8 million will be enough to cover the runway work, which is the most pressing concern since it was last paved 24 years ago.
“They’re supposed to be set up for 20 years,” he said.
Preparations for the work were already in motion, with the airport closing overnight this week so core samples can be taken. Without the federal award, the airport would have had to fund the project through Airport Improvement Program money, of which it receives $150,000 a year. That also would have required a 10 percent local match.
The federal funds are not expected to require any match, Kelly said.
“It’s going to save the airport/county … up to as much as $800,000,” he said. “This airport does not have to go into debt, nor does the county, to execute this grant.”
In addition, Kelly said, “it’s $8 million in job creation, right here at our airport.”
Last month, the Wood County Airport Authority authorized more than $400,000 in engineering and design work for the project. Kelly has said he expects the federal funds to cover that cost as well.
Wood County Commissioner Bob Tebay, a member of the airport authority, called the announcement “great news, for a great airport.”
“We hoped it would happen,” he said.
Kelly said the project must be put out for bid before the end of the current federal fiscal year on Sept. 30, but the actual work may not be done until next spring.
In the release, Manchin and Capito emphasized the importance of investing in rural airports’ infrastructure.
“Small, rural airports particularly need our help, which is why I worked with my colleagues to include an additional $1 billion in (fiscal year) ’18 within the FAA’s Airport Improvement Program for airports like Huntington and Parkersburg,” Manchin said. “I am glad that DOT has decided to release the second round of funds so we can invest in infrastructure in the Tri-State and Mid-Ohio Valley airports.”
“Ultimately, investing in our airports’ runways means improved safety, which in turn leads to better commerce and day-to-day travels for passengers and crew alike,” Capito said. “I’m glad to see these grants come to Huntington and Parkersburg.”
By: Evan Bevins
Source: Parkersburg News and Sentinel
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