ST. GEORGE — A St. George-based company has been chosen to replace thousands of feet of runway at the St. George Regional Airport during the facility’s temporary closure next year.
A bid in the amount of $23,656,217 was awarded to JP Excavating to replace the runway, which has sustained extensive water damage in the years since it was built. The St. George City Council approved the bid during a public meeting Thursday evening.
Approximately 7,000 feet of runway will be removed and replaced. About 5,400 feet in the center of the runway will also be excavated 17 feet down to remove blue clay. The contractor will then place a water barrier over the entire 7,000 feet of replaced runway.
The project is expected to take four months to complete, requiring the airport to be closed to all flights from May 29-Sept. 26, 2019.
The FAA also reviewed and approved JP Excavating’s bid, agreeing with a city consultant’s assessment that the cost is reasonable based on a price/cost analysis.
Approximately 91 percent of the cost of the project, which will total an estimated $26-27 million, is being footed by the Federal Aviation Administration. The other 9 percent will be paid for by airport fees collected from passengers on each flight.
“It won’t be coming out of the taxpayer’s funds here,” St. George Councilman Ed Baca said of the project’s price tag. “You can see how wonderful that is to the taxpayers here.”
The FAA is requiring the city to certify that adequate supervision and inspection of the project is arranged and ensure that construction conforms to approved plans and specifications.
“To accomplish this, your resident engineer and inspectors must be familiar with the specification requirements and perform testing as required,” an FAA-issued letter to the airport manager states.
City officials say the runway was originally built to FAA standards, but cracks in the runway resulting from water seeping into it has required constant patching.
Before next year’s closure, which is being scheduled during the airport’s lesser-traveled season, the city will continue to patch the areas of runway at issue, allowing flights to continue to and from Salt Lake City, Denver, Phoenix and Los Angeles.
During the City Council meeting, a lease was also approved for Just Plane Homes LLC to build eight t-hangars on several lots at the airport for the storage of private aircraft. Mayor Jon Pike said the company is aware of the airport’s impending closure.
Update Oct. 1. The airport’s closure dates have been changed from April 25-Aug. 21 to May 29-Sept. 26, 2019.
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