“All the work is being done outside the runway safety areas,” said Airport Manager Rich Nuttall. “We won’t have to close because of the construction. This phase will reinforce the dip area, and when we do fill in and raise the dip [at a later phase], it will support the weight.”
Delhur Industries, Inc., has been awarded the $10 million project, scheduled for completion by Sept. 25.
This phase (1B) consists of the construction of the north buttress area, and construction of the south fill embankment. Crews will be working two shifts in order to complete the job on time. The day shift work will take place from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, with night shift work taking place from 7 p.m. to 4:30 a.m. Weekend work will only take place if work falls behind schedule.
The project is being funded by grants from the Federal Aviation Administration, the Colorado Division of Aeronautics and funds generated from the Telluride Regional Airport.
Details about the next phase of the project, which could take place in the summer of 2009, remain uncertain due to funding issues.
“We hope to begin phase two in 2009,” said Nuttall. “However, it is wholly dependent on Congress whether they pass a funding bill or not. If we do get the funds that we are supposed to get, that will be a very big project and we will have to close the airport for six months – from April to October – and we will redo the entire runway.”
The complete airport expansion project is planned to be finished by 2012. If and when that occurs, larger capacity airplanes like the Bombardier Q400 (capacity 74), which is currently being operated by Frontier Airlines, would be certified to land.
For more information about Telluride Regional Airport visit www.tellurideairport.com.