A federal grant, part of $1.2 billion set aside nationally for airport safety and structural improvements, will rebuild the main taxiway at Jefferson County’s Rocky Mountain Metropolitan Airport near Broomfield.
“We’ve done the crack sealing and epoxy sealing on it before,” said Airport Director Christopher Nicholas. “But this is the first work we’ve done on the whole thing since it was built. There are portions that are in desperate need of rehabilitation, so that’s what this is.”
Nichols and Deputy Director Brian Bishop said work is planned on Taxiway A, the main connection between the airport and Runway 30 Right, 12 Left. The taxiway was built at least 15 years ago.
“It’s at least that old, if not older,” Bishop said.
The airport has become a hub for local business and small aircraft. The airport also hosts a full-time U.S. Forest Service tanker base, used for refilling and refueling the aircraft that have been fighting wildland fires across the western United States.
Work is scheduled to begin in the spring of 2021.
“That’s what the plan is, in the spring, but it most likely will occur in the summer of 2021,” Bishop said.
The work should take a few months and will require the airport to slow taxiing aircraft a bit.
“That just means more work for the aircraft control tower,” Bishop said. “They’ll have to space the aircraft out more, but we should be able to keep using the whole runway. It’ll just slow us down a bit.”
The grant was announced Sept. 2 as part of the FAA’s $1.2 billion in infrastructure grants across the country, in 405 airports.
In Colorado, that represents about $44.3 million for seven projects. That’s funding runway reconstruction, taxiway and lighting work projects like a $19.2 million at Colorado Springs Municipal Airport, $13 million in Grand Junction and $8 million at the Gunnison-Crested Butte Regional Airport. Denver International Airport looks to receive $2.6 million for a low emission infrastructure project.
“This $1.2 billion federal investment will improve our nation’s airport infrastructure, enhance safety, and strengthen growth in local communities, which is especially important as the economy recovers from COVID-19,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao.
Bishop said the money comes from taxes on commercial aviation taxes.
“It goes in a big pot of money with that federal government and then gets dispersed,” he said. “This is a grant we’ve been working on getting for a five or six years.”
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