Friday, August 15, 2014

Taxiway improvements on way for Trenton-Mercer Airport (KTTN), New Jersey


TRENTON — Freeholders unanimously awarded a $2.46 million contract yesterday for rehabbing three taxiways at Trenton-Mercer Airport.

According to county officials, the existing paving of the taxiways is in poor condition and the lighting on the taxiways is nearing the end of its service life cycle.

The three taxiways represent the first phase of the rehabilitation project at the airport, according to Julie Willmot, county spokeswoman. Further phases of rehabilitation are slated for the next three years.

Willmot said 95 percent of the first phases are funded through New Jersey Department of Transportation grants, with the remaining funds coming locally.

Future phases that are funded through Federal Aviation Administration grants will include 90 percent federal funding with the remainder split evenly between the state and county.

The contract was awarded to HBC Co. Inc. of Lodi and is expected to take approximately 55 working days for completion, though Willmot noted that including weekends and potential weather delays, the work will likely take between 75 and 90 days.

In addition, as part of the ongoing runway obstruction study, the freeholders awarded an $8,000 contract to Steel in the Air Inc. to look into the possible relocation of two cell towers at the airport.

Willmot said the specialists are needed as the county doesn’t have anyone on its professional staff with expertise in “the arduous regulations” involving relocating the towers.

“As we prepare for the recommendations of the runway obstruction survey that’s underway, we wish to have those professionals on hand if needed,” Willmot said.

In recent months, the freeholders authorized the use of FAA grants for environmental runaway assessments at the airport.

The grants would fund 90 percent of the costs while the county would chip in the remaining 10 percent.

At the time, Freeholder Lucylle Walter expressed concern that clearing obstructions such as trees on easements near the runway could pave the way for larger aircraft that could have a negative impact on Pennsylvania residents who live under flight paths.

Freeholders also extended the lease with the FAA for 3,583-square-feet of space in the airport’s air traffic control tower to March 31, 2015, at a rate not to exceed $7,464.50 a month.

The current deal is set to expire at the end of September.

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