The Walnut Ridge Regional Airport will begin several construction projects this month that are worth a total of $1.84 million.
The airport has received two grants from the Arkansas Department of Aeronautics that totaled $1 million and a $667,000 grant from the Federal Aviation Administration’s Airport Improvement Program to cover most of the costs, said Michelle Anthony, the airport manager. The city-owned airport will pay for the rest of the projects.
The work includes replacing airfield lighting signs and the directional lighting that guides pilots to one of the airport’s three runways, Anthony said.
The airport also will be repairing its 1942 tetrahedron, which indicates the direction of the wind, Anthony said. “There’s only a few left in the United States and we have one,” she said.
Grant money also will go toward paving projects at the airport, but not on the runways. “We’re 73 years old, so our concrete has seen some wear and tear,” Anthony said. “We have about 60 acres of concrete out here.”
The facility is a general aviation airport and sees everything from Gulfstreams to military planes.
Clark General Contractors Inc. of Walnut Ridge is handling both projects tied to the grants from the Department of Aeronautics. The FAA’s grant project is expected to be awarded to a contractor on Wednesday.
All projects should be completed by the end of the year.