Runway repair completed quickly

Published 3:07 am Saturday, December 2, 2017

The runway at South Alabama Regional Airport re-opened Thursday, significantly ahead of schedule.

Runway 29 was closed to allow for an airport improvement project to repair a bump.

The project consisted of milling the existing surface on each side of the bump.

The issue with the runway was that there was a bump where the old runway and the runway extension connected, which provided for a rough transition.

The bump was some 2.16 inches higher than it should be.

The cost of the project is around $135,000 with 90 percent being paid for by the Federal Aviation Administration, 5 percent by the Alabama Department of Transportation and 5 percent from local matching funds.

Local contractor Don Bullard, along with subcontractor Wiregrass Construction, completed the project in just a few days. It was expected to take 30 days to complete.

Michelle Conway of Goodwyn, Mills and Cawood said they milled on Monday and Tuesday and paved on Wednesday.

“Four pilots flew,” she said.

Among the pilots were John Roberts and South Alabama Regional Airport Authority Board member Donald Barton.

“There was not much to feel,” Roberts said.

“It didn’t throw you in the air,” Barton said.

Conway said everything went well and that they would do a final inspection and put up permanent markings in two-and-a-half weeks.

“FAA and ALDOT will do their inspection,” she said.