The Plymouth Board of Aviation Commissioners, project engineers and city dignitaries, helped break ground on a $2.5 million runway project at the Plymouth Airport last night.
Mark Shillington, the project manager, and engineer, says the Indiana Department of Transportation Office of Aviation found that the runway did not meet minimum standards for service in a pavement condition report.
“They gave us the indication that they would support us going for federal funds to repave the runway,” said Shillington. “Because of the soils underneath the runway, we have to go through and dig up the entire runway and work underneath it as well.”
Shillington said the aviation board also had in mind a goal to widen the runway so they hoped that it could all be included in one grant.
“We went to the FAA and said while we’re repaving the runway can we also widen it. It took about three years of administrative justification, but they finally agreed and included it in the grant.”
The runway will be widened to 75 feet. The taxiways will also be removed and built perpendicular to the runway. The lighting system will also be relocated and improvement
Mayor Mark Senter said the city and airport board are working to make the airport even better. The next step is including a weather center.
“We thought it was in the state legislature’s budget, but it got axed on the last day,” commented Senter. “It’s not in their budget, but at least we’re on the map now, and the FAA is looking at us. They know that we’re going to be good to deal with. This is just a great addition.”
A ribbon cutting ceremony will be held at the completion of the project in about 60 days.