Con­struc­tion con­tin­ues at city air­port

The Covington News - - The second front - DANIELLE EVER­SON deverson@cov­

Con­struc­tion will soon pick back up on two aprons at the Cov­ing­ton Mu­nic­i­pal Air­port af­ter the city coun­cil voted unan­i­mously at their meet­ing Mon­day night to pro­ceed with Phase II and Phase III of con­struc­tion.

Air­port Man­ager Vin­cent Passariello pre­sented the coun­cil with an up­date of work be­ing done at the air­port, which in­cluded the con­struc­tion of Phase II and Phase III of the south­east aprons, which are ar­eas air­craft board and re­fuel. The south­east side is where the city hopes to build a new air­port ter­mi­nal build­ing and en­trance off Ga. High­way 142.

Passariello said the con­struc­tion of the aprons was a large project for the city and had to be split up into phases.

“This is a very big project, so what we did was di­vide the project into dif­fer­ent phases and we call them Phase I, II, III and IV,” Passariello said. “Phase II is ev­ery­thing north of the creek (which runs from City Pond south­east along the lines of trees) and Phase III is ev­ery­thing south of the creek.”

At the Sept. 17 coun­cil meet­ing Passariello re­quested coun­cil ap­prove a notice to pro­ceed, which he said is doc­u­ment given to a con­trac­tor that de­ter­mined if they could be­gin the project.

“Ev­ery­thing is in place. We’ve got all the per­mits, we got all the money so we can start,” he said.

Passariello said in June 2009 the city signed a con­tract with the Ge­or­gia Depart­ment of Trans­porta­tion, the Fed­eral Avi­a­tion Author­ity and Pittman Con­struc­tion Com­pany, out of Cony­ers, for a to­tal of $5.44 mil­lion The money was des­ig­nated for resur­fac­ing ex­ist­ing aprons at the air­port, resur­fac­ing the run­ways, re­lo­cat­ing the fuel farm and re­plac­ing some of the run­way lighting. Of those funds, $3.24 mil­lion have been used for those projects.

He said the city hired LPA Group and CROY Engi­neer­ing as new con­sul­tants in July and Au­gust of 2009. CROY Engi­neer­ing was con­tracted to de­sign Phase II of the SE Apron.

Passariello said in July the com­pany dis­cov­ered there were wet­lands in the area, and they had to ob­tain U.S. Army Corp of Engi­neer­ing per­mits to continue build­ing the aprons across the ex­ist­ing wet­lands and stream.

Passariello said all the con­struc­tion plans have been com­pleted for the aprons, and they have been sub­mit­ted to the Ge­or­gia Depart­ment of Nat­u­ral Re­sources for ap­proval.

He said $2.2 mil­lion worth of fund­ing is left, but the city will not be able to com­plete the en­tire project.

Passariello said with those funds work will be com­pleted to com­ply with the US­ACE per­mit, the ma­jor­ity of de­vel­op­ment work and ac­cess for emer­gency ve­hi­cles from Ga. High­way 142.

The coun­cil also ap­proved ac­cep­tance of a FAA grant for $295,294.

“This is a new grant that was of­fered,” he said. “We’re go­ing to use that grant for re­im­burse­ment of ex­penses we have al­ready spent.”

Passariello said as funds be­come avail­able the city will pro­ceed with the com­ple­tion of the project and also build a new ter­mi­nal when ap­proved by coun­cil.

Sub­mit­ted photo

First-grade students at Mid­dle Ridge El­e­men­tary School cel­e­brated the study of the clas­sic L. Frank Baum book “The Wizard of Oz” by wear­ing masks de­signed by art teacher Deb­o­rah Nel­son. The students cre­ated them in art class af­ter their First Grade ELA Unit Study of the book.

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