Saturday, May 31, 2014

Construction halted on Jefferson County Airpark runway

JEFFERSON COUNTY, Ohio -- An unexpected delay will keep the runway at the Jefferson County Airpark closed. 

Commissioners were caught off guard when representatives from the company doing the paving on the runway told them there was a problem with laying the asphalt and suggested that more asphalt may fix the problem.

But commissioners want a more concrete explanation, so work has stopped until a solution is found.

That means, for now, no planes will be landing or taking off at the airpark.

"We put the project on hold until we get in writing from the engineer how to solve this particular problem before we spend any more money on laying that runway," said Jefferson County commissioner Dr. Thomas Graham.

That particular problem is tar used to repair cracks in the runway that is causing the new pavement being laid to bubble.

"One of those things that we might have to do is actually grind the old runway completely down, which would be extra money," Graham said, "But we're not trying to get the runway done just to be done. We want it to be done the safest possible way, not the quickest way."

Representatives of the contractor approached commissioners at their weekly meeting requesting to change the scope of the work, adding another quarter inch of asphalt that may alleviate the bubbling issues.

 "We can't live with 'maybes or mights,' particularly when it comes to runway safety," Graham said.

 They have been given no timetable for receiving that notification from the engineer.

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