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Bids accepted on airport project

On Thursday, the Troup County Board of Commissioners considered bids on the LaGrange Callaway Airport runway extension project.

Parts of the project — like permissions and land acquisition — initially got under way approximately 20 years ago, but with the approval of federal funding for the project at Tuesday’s meeting, the extension should begin making headway within the next year.

“The hope right now is that they will get the notice to proceed (with the project) somewhere around December,” Director Dexter Wells said. “This is still fast for (an airport).”

Peed Brothers out of Butler was the lowest bidding contractor for the project with a bid of $4,360,241.05 for the site work and obstruction clearing portions of the project. TCA Electrical Contractors had the lowest bid for the lighting portion of the project, with their bid coming in at $260,348.50. The project will be funded largely through the federal funds that were approved on Tuesday, though the county is expected to fund five percent of the project.

“This is a continuation of the funds that were approved Tuesday,” Wells said. “The LaGrange Callaway Airport is located on 743 acres owned by Troup County and the City of LaGrange. The airport has two runways with the primary runway currently being 1,600-foot long.”

The current length is suitable for medium sized aircraft, but the proposed 900-foot extension would include a realignment of the section of runway used by taxiing planes, the relocation of three streams and the instillation of high intensity lighting. It will also make it possible for larger aircraft to make use of the airport in the future.

Despite the approval of funds and having contractors ready to go, the project will still require another round of permissions before it can proceed, but the staff was confident that with what is now in place, it will finally move forward and should be completed sometime next year.

“I think the 210 days (maximum time to complete the project from notice to proceed) will be way more than they actually need for the runway itself — now maybe for some of the other stuff (they will need it),” County Manager Tod Tentler said.

It was noted that redirecting the streams with concrete pipes may be one of the more time-consuming parts of the project, and commissioner Lewis Davis did express concern over traffic disruptions at the airport during the project.

The staff assured the commission that those in charge of planning the project planned to impact traffic as little as possible.

For the most part, traffic will be able to flow as normal during the project.

“They are looking at doing the intersection, which would actually close both runways, but they are looking at trying to complete that actually in one night,” Wells said.

The Troup County Board of Commissioners is scheduled to meet again on Aug. 8 at 9 a.m. at 100 Ridley Ave.