Airport aiming to repair runway in August, rebuild in 2002

Runway repairs estimated at $420,000 should keep the Carson City Airport operational until a new runway can be built, airport officials said.

Carson City Airport Authority members heard initial plans Tuesday on runway repairs that should be good for three to five years. The Authority hopes to reconstruct the runway in about 2002.

Airport engineer Jim Clague learned Tuesday that Federal Aviation Administration grant money to rebuild the runway may be used for repairs as the Authority applies for a new grant for more funding.

The airport has a $3.7 million FAA grant to rebuild the runway but a new runway alignment chosen by the Authority will cost between $7 million and $10 million. The FAA encouraged the airport to repair the existing runway while seeking more grant funding.

The Authority intends to approve repair plans June 8, but these plans also need FAA and Carson City Board of Supervison approval. Clague hopes to start repair work in August.

The runway has dozens of cracks, every 30 or 40 feet. The largest cracks are 6 inches wide with the typical crack 3 to 4 inches wide.

The cracks will be repaired by cutting away about 12 inches of runway on each side of the crack and then refilling the cavity. The entire runway will then be slurry sealed before a new pavement is applied, Clague said.

He estimates the work will take 20 working days. No decisions have been made on day or night work or how the work will affect takeoffs and landings.

Clague estimates the runway has as much as15,000 linear feet of cracks.

The FAA ordered the airport to reconstruct the runway because the cracks were too bad for repairs to be adequate on a permanent basis. The FAA awarded Carson City Airport a $3.7 million grant to rebuild the runway in the existing location.

Not much later, though, the FAA and airport officials acknowledged the present runway location was not ideal, especially because the taxiway is too close to the runway.

Authority members in March chose to realign the runway, with the east end swung about 300 feet to the north. The new alignment will require buying as much as 18 acres in neighboring property as well as removing portions of a hill just north of the present runway.

The FAA has not approved the new alignment nor guaranteed that a grant for $7 million to $10 million would be awarded. The FAA did encourage the Authority to complete a master plan with the realigned runway.

Clague said a new master plan should be completed by November. With a master plan, the Authority may apply for a new FAA grant.

If successful, Carson City would receive the money late in 2001, allowing for runway reconstruction in 2002.


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