County meeting tonight for special session
Airport extension redesign, environmental impact work needed
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.