Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Ocean City Municipal (KOXB), Maryland: Work at airport under way

OCEAN CITY -- Jaime Giandomenico said people have probably been driving past the Ocean City Municipal Airport and wondering just what the 20-foot-tall illuminated "X" is in the middle of its property.

"It's impossible to miss, but that's the way it's supposed to be," said Giandomenico, the airport's manager. The "X" has been erected to deter aircraft from using one of the airport's two runways while a rehabilitation and reconstruction project is completed.

"If you line up with the runway at night, you see it from miles out, so it's a good deterrent," he said.

The runway will have its surface milled, undergo repavement, get drainage and lighting upgrades, and also get new signage, according to Ocean City Public Works Director Hal Adkins. Perimeter fencing will be constructed as well, to prevent deer and other wildlife from getting on the runway, among other upgrades.

The project should take about 90 days and cost $2.4 million, 90 percent of which comes from federal funds. The other 10 percent is split evenly between the state and the municipality. Eventually, the other runway will undergo similar treatment.

"We're really hoping to get this done before the air show," Adkins said of the project in progress by Delaware-based contracting firm George & Lynch.

The fifth annual Ocean City Air Show is scheduled for June 9-10, and Giandomenico said he's hoping the project will be finished before then.

"It's difficult, because there are intangibles like weather and there's always, like with any kind of big construction project, some variables; but I think we can do it," Giandomenico said.

The weekend of the air show is a peak one for the airport, with most of the show's acts based there, but Giandomenico said if the runway work isn't finished by then, the town will be able to get by using just the one.

At one point during the paving portion of the project, the still-in-use runway will have to be shortened, because the two intersect with each other and aircraft can't land on the fresh pavement for a certain amount of time.

"We're obviously trying to minimize the impact on the airport for the resort season, so we're doing everything we can to keep it moving," Giandomenico said.


When: June 9-10

Where:14th-17th streets, Ocean City

Info: www.ocairshow.com


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