County meet­ing tonight for spe­cial ses­sion

Air­port ex­ten­sion re­design, en­vi­ron­men­tal im­pact work needed

The Standard Journal - - LOCAL - By Kevin Myrick [email protected]­stan­dard­jour­

The Polk County Board of Com­mis­sion­ers are gath­er­ing this evening for a spe­cial called ses­sion to take care of busi­ness on the up­com­ing run­way ex­ten­sion project be­ing funded in part by the state.

Com­mis­sion­ers are be­ing asked to ap­prove an ad­di­tional task or­der ahead of the bid­ding process for Holt Con­sult­ing Com­pany to un­der­take dur­ing this evening’s spe­cial called ses­sion set to start at 5:30 p.m.

County man­ager Matt Den­ton said the county is ask­ing Holt Con­sult­ing to un­der­take ad­di­tional en­vi­ron­men­tal work on the project at Cor­nelius Moore Field, along with re­design work on the project it­self.

“We’re look­ing at some op­tions where we might be able to find or bor­row more ma­te­rial on site as a cost sav­ing mea­sure,” Den­ton said.

Holt Con­sult­ing will also be tasked with en­vi­ron­men­tal mea­sures like de­lin­eat­ing the state wa­ter­ways, con­duct­ing arche­o­log­i­cal sur­veys and more.

“We’re cer­tainly mov­ing along with the project,” Den­ton said.

He ex­pected for the bid­ding process to get un­der­way some­time this fall, with a com­pany to be awarded with a con­tract for the run­way ex­ten­sion to 5,000 feet, and ex­pects mo­bi­liza­tion on the project to get un­der­way by the year’s end.

Com­mis­sion­ers still have to de­cide whether to fund the work and put out a bid af­ter Gov. Nathan Deal made Polk County’s air­port one of sev­eral ru­ral land­ing strips he wanted to see ex­panded in or­der to help with eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties.

All told, some $25 mil­lion in spend­ing on run­ways across the state – with more than $4.5 mil­lion promised to Polk County – to cover most of the ex­penses of the ex­ten­sion project.

How­ever, the county will still have to foot some of the over­all bill, in­clud­ing the cur­rent de­sign work un­der­way by Holt Con­sult­ing.

Ear­lier in May, the county ap­proved $250,000 in spend­ing on de­sign work for the run­way ex­ten­sion project.

Once the ex­ten­sion work be­gins, Den­ton said he’s been in­formed the air­port will only have to close spo­rad­i­cally to traf­fic. That can be sub­ject to change, he pointed out.

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