By SHARON WOODS HARRIS
PEKIN —The City Council will consider Monday an agreement to begin the process of replacing some deteriorating pavement on a ramp at the Pekin Municipal Airport.
The south end of the property was covered with Slurry Seal Micro Surface in 2008 in an effort to preserve the pavement, said City Engineer Michael Guerra. Pekin Municipal Airport was only one of two airports in the state to use the Illinois Department of Transportation-approved material. It was also used on state roads.
Guerra said Slurry Seal is no longer allowed at airports because it crumbles, and when airplanes drive over it debris from the material is blown up into the propeller, causing damage to planes. The material is supposed to seal the cracks in the blacktop, but weeds have grown through the cracks because the sealer was ineffective, he said. The pavement is now breaking apart.
On Monday, the Pekin City Council will consider a contract with Hanson Professional Services Inc. for $43,509 for engineering design and oversight of the project. The city will be reimbursed for 90 percent of the engineering costs by the state and federal government.
The total project cost is just over $500,000. The city hopes to complete the project by August 2014, said Guerra.
The project was initially expected to be completed in two phases, but additional state funding came through and Pekin Municipal Airport was chosen from 12 other projects to be funded. The area will be milled down by 2 inches and then resurfaced with blacktop.
The area that will be replaced is near the hanger where agricultural businesses operate to spray fields, said Guerra.
“Overall this is the worst-rated pavement we have at the airport currently,” said Guerra.
The federal and state government pays for 95 percent of the costs of upkeep at the airport, said Ric Woldow, a member of the airport board, at a recent meeting of the Pekin City Council. The airport has more than 4,000 movements per year and is part of the local, state and national infrastructure.