Aviation Commissioners Approve Task Order, Pay Request For Runway Projects

Warsaw Board of Aviation Commissioners on Tuesday approved a task order for airport runway 9-27 safety area phase I, a pay request for the power line lowering project at the end of runway 27 and closing out the runway 18-36 extension and rehabilitation project.

Board member Dan Robinson asked during the meeting what they were defining runway 9-27 safety area phase I as.

Robert LaFayette, CHA Consulting Inc. deputy project manager, said, “So that’s going to include several different aspects of 9-27. So this is phase I of the overall program. The first order of business on that is … deconflicting the safety area from 18-36 and 9-27. This is a little bit more of a planning project than it is a design or preliminary engineering project, although there is some of that that will go on. But this basically sets the stage as what is the actual program, how we’re going to fund it, how long is it going to take the construction phase and things like that for 9-27. That will include CR 100, that will include regaining the displaced threshold, what we’re going to do with the road, how we’re going to grade out the RSA and how we’re going to deconflict the non-standard condition with the runway safety areas between 9-27 and 18-36.”

He said it basically puts the strategy and final plan together, so at the end of it the deliverable will be what they are going to do, how they’re going to do it, what it’s going to cost and how they’re going to pay for it.

LaFayette requested the Board approve task order No. 4 for phase I of the runway 9-27 improvements.

Airport Manager Nick King asked for the cost of it and noted that it was an Airport Improvement Program funded grant – 90% federal, 5% state and 5% local. LaFayette later reported the cost for Phase I was $302,200 and the Board approved the task order.

Phase II will be an environmental assessment. The scope and fee is under development right now, LaFayette said. “We’re awaiting grant application rules from the FAA for the bill funding and, so, I know that we were targeting August 2022 for Board approval, but based on the speed in which the FAA is moving, I’m not optimistic about an August timeline. I’m more optimistic about a September timeline,” he said.

On the power line lowering project at the end of runway 27, LaFayette reported, “We received a revised version of the updated construction cost information. I think Nathan reported last time that there’s a little bit of an increase. Well, there’s an increase. We requested documentation to support the proposed cost increases. We’re not quite ready to bring that to the Board’s attention yet. We’re waiting on a submittal from AEP. There’s some line items in there we would like to have a discussion on.”

Warsaw Municipal Airport was awarded an approximate $7 million grant for the lowering of AEP electrical power lines to the east of the east/west runway. The airport received the grant a year ago. The conceptual schedule for the project is still on track for a November 2023 completion.

LaFayette said Tuesday there is call between the CHA team and the airport on Friday to discuss those line item cost changes associated with the project grant. They will be discuss what will be allowable, what they can take off and how it will take shape moving forward. More information will then be provided to the Board at the Aug. 9 meeting.

Board President Jay Rigdon asked LaFayette if he was optimistic that there would be an agreement to sign at the August meeting.

“What I can say for the record is, there are items in there that the FAA will not allow. And so, those items need to be discussed prior to us having anybody authorize, sign, agree, anything like that before we can move forward, and so we need to be able to coordinate that with AEP and the FAA prior to the consulting team even being remotely comfortable with moving forward with the project,” LaFayette stated.

Rigdon said it sounded like LaFayette was neither optimistic or pessimistic about it.

“Not yet,” LaFayette said. “They’ve got some contingencies and things like that in the line items that we need to understand and have a line item for, not just a contingency. So, those things need to get ironed out before anybody is comfortable moving forward.”

He then presented an invoice for the project from CHA for $1,753.28. The Board approved the pay request.

On runway 18-36, LaFayette said, “Finally got some good news. We got the amendment from the FAA, so we are preparing all the closeout documents. They’re put together. We’re working with Phend & Brown – now Reith Riley – on a revised pay application. So the final pay requests and the grant closeout form will be available probably prior to the next board meeting.”

He requested the Board authorize Rigdon to sign those closeout documents and final pay requests so the project can be taken off the books and not have to wait until the next Board meeting. The Board approved a motion authorizing Rigdon to do so.

FAA and Indiana Department of Transportation grants paid for the runway extension and rehabilitation project.

King also updated the Board on the sewer project along CR 350N.

“The city is working to bring a lift station to the northeast side of the airport property and this is where the proposed easement for that lift station will be,” he said, pointing to a map on the overhead screen. “They would cut across the property. This is 350 North, right here, and tie in to the existing sewer system over near (Ind.) 15. They will just need an easement along 350,” he said.

The city will need roughly an acre to work in the life station, but the actual structure will be smaller than that, King said. “That’s the area that they will need to maintain and operate up in that northeastern corner. The goal with this is also to provide the airport with sewer service in the next couple of years.”

He said they’re still working on how exactly that will look.

Robinson said he thought it was a good, long plan and the airport having city sewer is important. He made a motion to approve the easement and it passed unanimously.