Sunday, September 23, 2012

Cleveland, Tennessee: Completion of Jetport runway delayed

 Rain and three consecutive days of concrete plant breakdowns slowed progress and delayed completion of the runway at Cleveland Regional Jetport another week.

Ronnie Fitzgerald, PDC Consultants, estimated the runway would be finished Sept. 18, “and here it is three days later and I’ve got you half a runway. We ended up with three consecutive days of concrete plant breakdowns and now the rain, so we have slipped. … You should have your runway by the end of next week.”

Fitzgerald made the appraisal Friday morning to the Cleveland Municipal Airport Authority during its regularly scheduled meeting.

CMAA Vice Chairman Lou Patten reported the revised completion date of the terminal building is Dec. 12, but the contractor is working toward an earlier date by working Saturday and Sunday. Weather and other work on the apron hindered access to terminal building.

“It’s going to be delayed some from the original date,” said CMAA Chairman Lou Patten. “We’re pushing them and they were working Saturday. I think they are trying to get moving along as well. Some of their reasons for delay were legitimate but some of them we’ve questioned.”

Chairman Lynn DeVault stated the contractors were on a very tight schedule from the beginning and “anyone who was reasonable might have assumed we would have rain.”

“But, I think we’re all moving in the right direction and we’re going to have an outstanding terminal building,” Patten said.

J&J Construction, Chattanooga, bid $2.412 million to construct the 8,000-square-foot building. The job was divided into three categories: site preparation, security and the terminal building. Site preparation and security are funded through grants. The terminal building, which came in at slightly less than $1.9 million, is funded by the state and the city up to $700,000 each. The airport authority is responsible for raising about $500,000. The board contracted Bill Allen to help raise the remainder through private donations.

Prospective donors have the opportunity to tour the terminal Wednesday.

“Hopefully they’ll get excited when they see the actual construction on the runway, apron and the terminal building,” Patten said.

So far, First Tennessee Bank has committed to $40,000; SkyRidge Medical Center, $30,000; Olin Corporation, $40,000; and Pioneer Credit and Cleveland/Bradley Chamber of Commerce have each pledged $50,000.

Lynn DeVault retained leadership of the airport authority after she was unanimously elected as chair for another year. Patten and Verrill Norwood will continue in their roles as vice chair and secretary-treasurer. The Cleveland City Council recently reappointed Norwood to another five-year term to expire in September 2017.

The scope of work includes the 5,500-foot by 100-foot runway, a full parallel taxiway 35 feet in width and an apron area 317 feet by 982 feet wide. The pavement will consist of approximately 122,000 cubic yards of concrete and 32,000 tons of crushed aggregate for the 5-inch base. Hinkle Contracting Co., Paris, Ky., won the Phase III contract with a bid of $7.055 million.

Cleveland Regional Jetport is located at 251 Dry Valley Road.

Read more: Cleveland Daily Banner - Completion of Jetport runway delayed

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