At Tuesday afternoon’s Airport Board meeting, an update was given on the runway expansion project under way at Mid-Way Regional Airport.

Airport manager Andy Biery discussed the progress being made.

“The construction on the north end of the airfield is nearly to the end of phase two already. Basically they have been able to work phase one and phase two at the same time without encroaching on the runway. So, when we finally get into phase three, which will happen within the next 40 days, they will come into that phase a full 30 days ahead of schedule,” Biery said.

“We may be able to skip the 4,000 foot runway all together where they could work at one end excavating and reopen the north end of the airfield when they are ready to move dirt to the south. They are trying to maintain the airport and make it as usable as possible,” he said. “They have been pretty good to us so far … they have done a fairly good job of keeping dirt off the taxiway.”

In other business, Biery said the asbestos abatement was completed on the house in the construction zone and that it is ready to be torn down. He said that the airport looked at three or four avenues to get rid of the building but was unsuccessful.

The Texas Department of Transportation approved a change order to do 80,000 cubic yards of rock excavation for the runway expansion project.

“They have begun doing that and they are using a big V8 to rip that out and crush it (the rock). Actually it will probably end up saving some money in the end because the materials that they anticipated buying as subgrade fill they will be able to use that rock for,” Biery said.

Biery said the terminal renovation funding was approved unanimously by both city councils (Waxahachie and Midlothian). TxDOT has been sent all of the documents it needs and the resolutions from the cities. The matter goes before the state commission Feb. 25 for approval.

“We also had a professional architect involved in comparing the existing building to what we wanted. If we would like to skip the phase of a consulting engineer and the architect we can go to a contractor at risk. That is where you basically have a set fee that a contractor can agree to and basically he becomes your advocate,” he said. 

“His (the contractor) fee is set and his goal is to reduce the overall cost of the project. With that, the project cost goes down. This would follow bid outline as before but this time instead of a consulting engineering that we would get bids from first it would be general contractors that have design capabilities. We would have to design the bid document and describe the parameters,” he said. 

The board discussed airport hanger leases and approved a request to make board member packets available to the public. A link would be placed on Mid-Way Regional Airport’s Web site that would link to the city of Midlothian Web site, from where the packet could be downloaded and printed out.

Contact Andrew at andrew.branca@wninews. com or 469-517-1458.