Purchase photos

Runway repairs could affect flights





Reconstruction of Hays Regional Airport's main runway moved one step closer to reality as Hays city commissioners were apprised of bidding results at Thursday night's work session.

Assistant Public Works Director John Braun told commissioners Smoky Hill LLC submitted the low bid for the project at $6.8 million.

Grant funds from the Federal Aviation Administration for 90 percent of the project have not yet been awarded, as project bids are required to be given to the FAA prior to grant approval.

Braun said he didn't anticipate any difficulties in FAA approval of the grant, as the FAA already had approved design of the reconstruction in June.

"It's just a matter of sending the application to them and putting the numbers into a grant," Braun said.

Landings and takeoffs at the airport will be impacted by the reconstruction process starting in mid- to late June with phase one of construction, which will begin at the intersection of the crosswind and main runways and affect the runway area running south.

Approximately 4,500 feet of operational runway will remain to accommodate traffic, Braun said. Phase one is expected to be complete in August or early September.

Phase two will involve reconstruction of the remaining portion of the main runway and allow the crosswind runway, approximately 4,500 feet, to act as the main runway.

During the heat of summer, the 4,500 runway length might prove "problematic," Braun said.

"The 19-passenger Beech 1900, if it's loaded to capacity and the temperature's really hot and there's no headwind, may not be able to take off," Braun said. "They may have to limit the number of passengers they can carry."

Commissioners will take action on the bids, as well as a separate agenda item to authorize Burns and McDonnell Engineers to conduct engineering services in the amount of $550,637 at next Thursday's regular meeting.

Other other business:

* Public Works Director I.D. Creech updated commissioners on the final plat of King's Gate Second Addition. The proposed plat will contain 17 residential lots. Commissioners will vote on approval of the final plat at next week's meeting.

* Costs incurred during the second phase of the Vine Street reconstruction of $1.4 million were recommended to be paid for by city commission financial policy funds. Commissioners will vote on the measure at next week's meeting.