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Runway rehab, part deux

Parts of the airport’s runway will be closed this summer as the pavement and drainage systems are improved. - Justine Frederiksen/staff photo
Parts of the airport’s runway will be closed this summer as the pavement and drainage systems are improved.
— image credit: Justine Frederiksen/staff photo

Port of Bremerton putting on a fresh layer of pavement, improving drainage at its airport.

The Port of Bremerton is currently collecting bids for about $4.5 million worth of improvement to its airport runway.

“In 2005, we added 995 feet of pavement,” said Fred Salisbury, director of airport operations for the port, addressing the port’s board of commissioners last month. “What we are going to do now is pave the rest of the runway.”

Salisbury said much of the pavement will be “milled down to a quarter-of-an-inch to an inch-and-a-half” to smooth out variations, and about 22,000 tons of “asphalt concrete pavement overlay” will be added before the project — officially phase II of the Runway Rehabilitation Project — is complete.

The project also will improve the drainage system, which was built 60 years ago.

“The current design of the runway has the drainage in the side of the pavement, which was the standard in the 1940s,” he said. “To meet the current design standard and criteria, we’re going to fill in all those old drainage facilities and put in new structures.”

With the new structures — 32 in all — Salisbury said water will then flow off the runway, through the grass, “into the collection system and out through the stormwater conveyance system.

“We’ll put in over 5,000 lineal feet of drainage pipe, do about 43,000 cubic yards of excavation and about 43 acres of hydraseeding before we’re done,” he said.

Before the commissioners’ Feb. 24 meeting, Salisbury said he had met with officials from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) — which will be picking up 95 percent of the project’s tab.

“They are very comfortable and happy with the project, and have approved the design,” he said, explaining the bid process would open on March 3 if approved, and they expect to open bids on March 31.

Once started, the work was expected to be completed in 116 days, and had an engineering estimate of $4.5 million.

However, Salisbury said FAA officials requested that port staff add a step to the process, which was “grooving the runway.

“The airport does get jet traffic, and they would like us to put grooves in the runway to enhance the performance of jet aircraft as they land and takeoff at the airport,” he said.

Salisbury said the extra work was estimated at $188,000, but since all signs pointed to a “very favorable bid climate,” he said it was likely to cost less.

“But if we do take the base bid, the FAA would be obligated to pay $4.29 million and the port $227,000, which is within our budget,” he said.

Commissioner Larry Stokes asked Salisbury if the port planned to utilize the “spoils” it ground off the runway pavement. Salisbury said yes, staff plan to add the material to the port’s dirt roads as a source of more gravel.

“Good, because that is very usable,” Stokes said.

The commissioners then voted unanimously to approve the bid process for the project.

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