GULFPORT -- Engineers returned to the air traffic control tower at Gulfport-Biloxi International Airport on Wednesday and construction is set to resume on Monday, according to airport officials.
Work was halted on the $12 million project in Gulfport and at airports across the country last month when Congress failed to provide funding for infrastructure projects.
Since Congress has approved temporary funding, the work can proceed. “We’re certainly glad to have our employees back to work,” said Kathleen Bergen, spokeswoman for the FAA. They have returned from furlough, she said.
Technically, work has already resumed on the project that is really complete, except for the final punch list, she said.
Before the month is up, they expect the contractor to officially transfer the project to the FAA, Bergen said. The next step will be to have the electronic equipment installed in the tower, about $1.3 million in work that should take six months.
Construction began in September of 2009.
The tower is 120 feet tall and located south of the airport terminal, to provide a view of the entire air field for the air traffic controllers.
It has a 395-square-foot tower top with enhanced space for operations and training. It is designed to withstand hurricane-force wind. The 13,000-square-foot approach control base building will house administrative and training and offer better security and simulation capabilities for training.
Current and future airport development drove the need for a taller, larger tower, the FAA said. The current tower is 90 feet and was built in the early 1970s on the north side of the field.
Bergen said they expect to commission the tower in the first half of next year.