Saturday, September 16, 2017

Cherry Capital Airport (KTVC), Traverse City, Grand Traverse County, Michigan: East-west runway closes for expansion, re-paving



TRAVERSE CITY — Crews are working nonstop on runway expansions for Cherry Capital Airport.

The $13.9 million project to repair and extend the airport's east-west runway began in 2013, but moved into high gear Thursday night when the last flights landed, and crews halted traffic on the runway, said airport Director Kevin Klein.

"The airport will still be open, and airline traffic will be using the north-south runway," he said. "There may be some delays, but the way it's looking now is great."

A 115-foot-long extension will be added to the runway, which is about 24 years old, and the entire strip will be repaved, he said.




Team Elmer's crews broke ground Aug. 7 to begin the electrical work and leveling the land — the first of the last set of phases for the project. The team then moved on to building taxiway deltas for planes to approach the new runway before they began work on additions to the runway itself, Klein said.

The runway will be closed for about two weeks as the crews work round-the-clock to complete the project on time, said Nick Broad, Team Elmer's project manager.

"This is among one of the larger projects for us, it's pretty significant. The biggest thing is being conscious of the schedule and that's why we have additional personnel and resources," Broad said. "The planned closure of a couple weeks is pending weather delays."

Broad estimates about 45 crew members are on site for any day or night shift, allowing for time off and sometimes overlapping shifts if needed.




"Things have been running smooth so far, but we hope to have a sunny September," he said. "Anytime you have cold or rainy weather it influences external work outside, so we try to do our best to plan around that."

Crews also will install orange bars for a lighting system on the west side of Garfield Road and into the airport grounds, similar to the lights located east of Three Mile Road, Klein said.

Once complete, the runway will be more that 7,000 feet long, but still complies with Federal Aviation Administration boundary rules which require runways to be at least 1,000 feet away from the boundary fence, Klein said.

"We'll have 1,000 feet plus an additional 100 feet once complete — we have plenty of room," he said. "When you change the runway, you have to change the grade of the safety area to match the new runway."

FAA rules changed in the early 2000s to require airports to meet new boundary standards, and Cherry Capital has the space to stay within them, he said.

"We have been fortunate with the land we have to meet those needs and we're fortunate that we wouldn't have to bend (Garfield) road," he said.

The need for a longer runway stemmed from a capacity issue on hot summer days. Regional jets had less lift because of extra heat — causing the airlines to bump passengers off flights. The added length will eliminate the problem as jets will have more space to get off of the ground.

"Our goal was to eliminate the penalties, and with a 7,000-foot runway that will resolve those issues," he said. "People won't be displaced on hot summer days because the planes will have longer to get off the ground."

The runway is expected to open by early October if the work is finished on time and passes flight inspections. Team Elmer's will continue to do cleanup work and other tasks on the airport grounds after the runway reopens.

Original article can be found here ➤ http://www.record-eagle.com

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