April 9th, 2012
BLOUNTVILLE – Tri-Cities Regional Airport broke ground today on a project that will improve airfield safety and open additional land for economic development. Using one of the largest grants in the Airport’s history, the Airport will construct the final section of pavement for Taxiway R, which will provide a full parallel taxiway south of Runway 5-23, the Airport’s main runway. Congressman Phil Roe joined Airport officials and community leaders to mark the occasion.
Extending Taxiway R requires the relocation of a portion of Hamilton Road, which skirts the west side of Airport property. In addition to accommodating the taxiway extension, relocating Hamilton Road will open direct airfield access to approximately 140 acres of Airport property for aviation-related industrial development.
“Currently, larger aircraft landing on Runway 5-23 must use the taxiway on the north side of the runway and then cross over the active runway to access the south side of the airfield,” said Patrick Wilson, TCRA executive director. “This extension will increase airfield safety and efficiency for commercial and general aviation aircraft and provide an attractive site for additional aviation-related business and industry.”
The funds for the nearly $10-million-dollar-project come from a combination of Federal Airport Improvement Project entitlement and discretionary funds, State of Tennessee Aviation Grants and local Airport dollars. The grant is not funded from general tax revenue, but by fees paid by aviation system users in the form of airline ticket taxes, aviation fuel taxes and passenger facility charges.
The Taxiway Extension project and relocation of Hamilton Road will consist of constructing approximately 6,500 linear feet of two-lane asphalt roadway to realign Hamilton Road, installing 3,000 linear feet of drainage and utilities, adding approximately 2,800 linear feet of asphalt taxiway pavement to the south end of Taxiway R and installing new edge lighting, pavement marking and security fencing. When completed, more than 600,000 cubic yards of material will have been moved.
Construction is estimated to take 18 months to complete. Vic Davis Construction is the contractor.
Source: ELIZABETHTON STAR