Friday, February 27, 2015

Allegheny County Airport set for $4M sidewalk, parking lot upgrade



Allegheny County Airport Authority is preparing to spend nearly $4 million to upgrade sidewalks and parking spaces at West Mifflin's Allegheny County Airport.

On Monday, PennDOT's acting secretary Leslie S. Richards announced $9.7 million in state grants for safety improvements to operations at six airports in five counties.

Included is $2.9 million to rehabilitate the severely deteriorated terminal public parking lot and sidewalks outside County Airport.

“The grant will cover approximately 75 percent of the cost of the project,” authority public relations supervisor Alyson Walls said. “The Allegheny County Airport Authority will utilize capital funds for the remaining 25 percent.”

Approximately three acres or 130,000 square feet are affected.

“It has significantly deteriorated pavement in need of full replacement,” Walls said. “The design phase of the project will begin as soon as possible, with the construction phase occurring primarily in 2016.”

Walls said the lot is used by many involved in approximately 60,000 operations each year at County, including landings and takeoffs for private and corporate craft and medical helicopters.

“It's vital that we ensure airports in Pennsylvania can make safety and operational upgrades,” Richards said. “These projects are also investments in the communities these airports serve.”

Despite a lack of commercial flights, County Airport continues to be one of the state's busiest — and is designated by the Federal Aviation Administration as the primary reliever airport for Allegheny County Airport Authority's Pittsburgh International Airport.

Walls said Pittsburgh International has approximately 140,000 operations per year.

PennDOT representatives said the grants are distributed through the Aviation Transportation Assistance Program, which is a capital budget grant program funded with bonds.

“We're excited and happy to receive the funding,” Walls said.

The largest single grant announced on Monday is $5 million for a new terminal for Williamsport Regional Airport in Lycoming County. Other grants were announced for Doylestown Airport ($487,500) and Quakertown Airport ($180,000) in Bucks County, Hazleton Municipal Airport ($300,000) in Luzerne County and New Castle Municipal Airport ($100,000) in Lawrence County.

PennDOT spokespersons said the state grants will leverage more than $8.3 million in local matching funds.

Read more: http://triblive.com

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