Nearby residents will be feeling the groove in July
By Mark Reaman
The schedule for runway repairs at the Gunnison airport next spring is nearly set. Airport manager Rick Lamport gave the Gunnison Valley Rural Transportation Authority (RTA) an update on the situation at the July 8 meeting.
Based on design criteria, the schedule is tentative and might need some fine-tuning but will be close to what has been expected. Materials for the project will begin to be prepped and stored at the airport starting this fall.
Some taxiway work and asphalt testing will be conducted starting April 1. The project kicks into high gear April 10, the day after the ski area closes, when both the main airport runway and a small grass runway on the western side of the airport will be shut down.
Paving work will move to the east side of the airport starting May 16 and that will allow the grass runway to reopen to small aircrafts. The main runway work is scheduled to be complete June 10 with the airport opening on that Saturday.
But as with any project of this magnitude, Lamport said there were 12 contingency days built into the project in case some unexpected problems arise.
The asphalt will take a month, until July 21, to completely cure. On July 22, grooving work will commence and Lamport said that could impact residents living near the airport. Workers “will groove the runway at night,” he said. “So from July 22 until August 1 work will take place from 10:30 at night until 5 a.m. There will be some noise out there at night for those two weeks.”
Lamport said the work is needed since the runway is currently cracked. It is a $10 million project funded mainly by the federal government. Lamport said the design/engineering company setting the schedule, Jviation, just completed a similar project at the Hayden airport and it came in on time with even more work than will be done at Gunnison. Jviation will manage the actual project but will not do the actual construction.
“Moisture and weather is always a little challenge, but I am confident in this company, and think it will get done in this timeframe,” said Lamport.
Bids are currently being solicited for the work.