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Port of Skagit Starts Work on $8.5-million Runway Project

Burlington – The most expensive capital project in the Port of Skagit’s 48-year history got under way July 9, 2012, at Skagit Regional Airport.

The Runway 10-28 Crown Conversion and Longitudinal Gradient Adjustment project is the second of two improvements on Runway 10-28 to bring the surface to Federal Aviation Administration pavement standards for a D-II runway (accommodating aircraft with approach speeds 121 up to 166 knots and wingspans up to 79 feet). The 2012 construction work will bring the longitudinal gradient at Runway 28 into compliance with standards for Approach Category C & D aircraft and will convert the surface of the runway to a crown section to meet current FAA standards.

Scarsella Bros. Inc. of Kent, WA, contractor for construction of the project, won the job last month with a low bid of $8,562,798.25.

This year’s project will include the following major elements:

•           The east end of the runway will be raised by approximately five feet, and drainage infrastructure will be installed under this portion.

•           The surface of the runway will be paved with multiple asphalt lifts to create the crown configuration. Connector taxiways will be graded and paved to meet the new grades.

•           Taxiway B will be realigned to form a 90-degree approach to the runway and a straight connection to Taxiway G. The run-up apron will be relocated to the inside of Taxiway B to be compatible with future development of the adjacent lot.

•           The Runway 10-28 lighting system will be replaced with an updated system.

•           The airport signage system will be replaced.

Significant project timeframes are as follows:

•           Runway 04-22 closes today and will remain closed through the last week in July.

•           The tenative schedule calls for the closure of Runway 10-28 to begin on Monday, July 30, and continue through mid-October.

•           Runway 04-22 will close again briefly after 10-28 reopens to complete the project.

The engineer’s estimates for the project include the following volumes of material:

•           37,250 tons of asphalt

•           124,820 cubic yards of excavation

•           6,435 cubic yards of imported structural fill

•           15,700 lineal feet of pipe (various types and sizes)

•           108,878 lineal feet of cable and wire for the electrical system

•           276 new lights (runway and taxiway)

•           30 new guidance signs

•           7,030 lineal feet of wildlife fence

Neighbors of the airport may notice an increase in truck traffic starting this week when the contractor begins hauling fill dirt to the airport for the project. Trucks will begin hauling asphalt in August. In both cases, the main haul route has trucks entering the airport from the west on Bay View Road, turning off of Farm to Market Road.

The project will make Skagit Regional Airport more compatible with larger business jets that already are operating on Runway 10-28. Operations of these aircraft exceeded 300 in 2010 and are increasing. The Airport Master Plan trend analysis indicates that operations of larger business jets will reach 500 per year in the next three to eight years.

The Port of Skagit received grants totaling $9,928,100 from the Federal Aviation Administration for design, engineering, environmental review and construction of this phase of the Runway 10-28 project. FAA will provide 90 to 95 percent of the funding for the project, including engineering and project management. A WSDOT grant further reduces the port’s cost of building the project. Federal and state grants are funded by user fees on aviation fuel and airline operations.

If you are a reporter seeking information about the Port of Skagit, please call Andrew Entrikin, community outreach administrator, at 360-757-0011 or email andrew@portofskagit.com