The expansion of Ashe County Airport’s runway is nearing completion.
During the regular scheduled meeting of the Ashe County Board of Commissioners on Monday, July 21, the Board was updated on the progress of the Ashe County Airport runway project.
“We originally started this project back in 2010 with the clearing of where the extension is going now,” said James Moose, a representative of AVCON Inc., a transportation firm based in Orlando, Fla. “We are now in the third phase and it is called the Paving and Lighting Package for Runway 10-28 extension.”
That portion of the project was started by Denver, N.C. based Eaglewood Construction in April of this year, and the leveling of the ground where the extension is going is nearing completion, according to Moose.
“The airport is getting a new electrical vault,” Moose said. “The old one has some substantial age to it, so as part of this project, we are getting a 10x10 electrical vault with all new equipment inside.”
Moose said the project is approximately 70 percent complete based on time and 50 percent complete based on invoicing.
“The reason there is a little bit of discrepancy in those numbers is a lot of the larger pay items… have not been done yet,” Moose said. “We expect those (invoices) to be completed in the next month.”
Those items include asphalt, paving and completion of the electrical wiring.
Moose said that depending upon the weather, they expect the Ashe County Airport project to be completed by late August or early September.
“The last time I talked with the contractor, that was what we were anticipating,” Moose said. “Once we do get it complete, there will still be some other work going on…Even though the runway will be open, there are still some clean up items the contractor will need to do.”
It will take approximately one month to complete the remaining tasks once the runway is open for aircraft.
Commissioner Larry Rhodes asked Airport Manager Eric Payne to give an update on the moving of the fuel tanks at the airport.
“We’re going to do away with the underground storage tank, because it has problems,” Payne said. “We are going to replace it with an above ground storage tank.”
The fuel pumps will be placed between the Vannoy hangars and the terminal building, according to Payne.
Rhodes expressed his appreciation to Moose about his involvement in the project.
Chairman Gary Roark asked if the runway is going to be thicker so it can be able to handle heavier planes.
“Right now it is going to match (the existing) runway,” Moose said. “On a later date, there is a runway upgrade and that will be done with all of the runway.”
Roark then asked what size plane could land at Ashe County airport, to which Moose said the airport could handle 12,500 pounds per wheel.
Commissioner William Sands asked what the total length of the runway will be upon completion of the project.
“We are going for 5,001 feet,” Moose said. “We’re going to get above 5,000 (feet)…We’re going to have plenty (of runway) out there.”
Wil Petty can be reached at (336) 846-7164 or on Twitter @WilPetty.