Tarmac renovation to take off | CraigDailyPress.com

Tarmac renovation to take off

The tarmac at the Craig/Moffat County Airport will undergo a major renovation project next year.

The surface of the tarmac — which is where planes park — is maintained regularly, but officials say the cracks in the asphalt are to the point at which basic maintenance won’t be enough.

The tarmac looks good at first glance, but officials say cracks are getting too big and can’t be fixed by filling them with tar.

“It looks good, but the surface is 13 years old,” said Moffat County commissioners’ assistant Gena Hinkemeyer, who is leading the renovation project.

The $630,000 project is funded with money from the Federal Aviation Administration, Colorado Department of Trans-portation and Moffat County.

The majority of the money came from FAA entitlements for small airports.

The FAA gives the airport about $150,000 every year. For the past few years, Moffat County has loaned that money to other small airports in the state so they could do major renovation projects.

“You can’t do a whole lot with $150,000,” Hinkemeyer said.

This year, the other airports gave their entitlements to Moffat County for the tarmac project.

Hinkemeyer said the project will go out for bids in March 2006, and construction could start in June.

The airport is used for private flights but not commercial flights. Local businesses including Tri-State and Trapper Mine use the airport for business travel.

John Ponikvar, a local pilot who leases a hangar at the airport, said that although the runway is in great shape, the tarmac needs some work. He said there are some potholes on the tarmac that are about 6 inches wide and 6 inches deep.

Last year, a plane got its front tire stuck in a hole and had to be pushed out, he said.

He said traffic at the airport could increase in coming years because of continued oil and gas development. The surface of the tarmac will need to be upgraded to accommodate increased traffic, he said.

“It should give it a good stable (tarmac) for a long time to come,” Ponikvar said about the project.

The county also had a master plan written for the airport recently.

Hinkemeyer said the plan will guide the county on any future construction projects, such as possibly expanding the runway.

If the runway were expanded, commercial flights could land at the airport, but Hinkemeyer said there probably isn’t enough demand for commercial flights into Craig.

Yampa Valley Regional Air-port near Hayden is just 17 miles by road and 11 miles by air from Craig/Moffat County Airport. YVRA has commercial flights.

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