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Monday, May 2, 2016

More money going to airport

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Hank Williamson
(T-G Photo by Brian Mosely)
Shelbyville will be receiving much more state and federal funding to pay for needed repair work at the city's airport.

An extra $1,425,000 is being added to the city's current contract of $1,658,000 to perform the rehabilitation of the airport's parking ramp, to go along with work to be done on the taxiway.

A total of $3,158,000 is now committed to airport upgrades.

Members of the city staff, including city manager Jay Johnson, mayor Wallace Cartwright and airport manager Hank Williamson, met with officials from the Tennessee Department of Transportation's aviation division in Nashville Tuesday to work out details.


For the parking ramp project, in total, the federal government will be chipping in $300,000 -- 20 percent -- while 75 percent of the funding, $1,125,000, will come from the state of Tennessee, with Shelbyville contributing a five percent local match of $75,000.

Williamson explained that while plans were being drawn up for the taxiway, Federal Aviation Administration compliance issues due to the terrain of the ramp were discovered. The taxiway will have to be raised to the level of the parking ramp.

Garver Engineering is working on the plans now, the airport manager said, adding that it will be difficult to work their daily operations around the construction, requiring the facility to close for a couple of months next year.

This will give the airport employees time to do housecleaning and remodeling during the downtime, Williamson said.

Will save money

Funding for the taxiway, the surface that planes must travel to get to the runway, had already been approved earlier this year.

The current taxiway has ruts and sunken places and crews plan to use "full depth reclamation," where existing asphalt and crushed stone is reused as a base for the new asphalt for the repairs.

Initially, the city had requested a total of 90 percent from the state and federal government for just the taxiway project, with Shelbyville pitching in the other 10 percent, which had been estimated at $160,000.

But in July, the Tennessee Aeronautics Commission chipped in with five percent -- $80,000 -- reflecting a new policy change by TDOT to assist general aviation airports throughout the state.

Williamson said they knew the ramp had to be repaired, and had planned to put it in next year's budget due to the city likely being unable to pay for the 10 percent in local matching funds.

"This put us in a good position to go back in and get the ramp grant, so we do them both at the same time," Williamson said, adding that doing both projects simultaneously would save money.

Design work on the project has already begun, with bids scheduled let during the early part of spring. Williamson hopes to start moving dirt by the late winter or early spring, weather permitting.