published Wednesday, August 10th, 2011

Cleveland, Marion airport projects get grant funding

Construction equipment crawl across a large berm at the site of a new Cleveland airport in this 2010 file photo.
Construction equipment crawl across a large berm at the site of a new Cleveland airport in this 2010 file photo.
Photo by Randall Higgins /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

Public airports in Cleveland, Tenn., and Marion County are awaiting the go-ahead from the state to begin projects funded in part with an $850,000 chunk of $5.5 million in state grants for infrastructure improvements.

A $550,000 Tennessee Aeronautics Division grant through the Tennessee Department of Transportation will fund engineering services for Cleveland's new airport in the Michigan Avenue-Tasso Road area north of town, officials said. The grant totals include a 10 percent local match.

"They're just completing the second construction phase and getting ready for the third," said Gloria Malone, administrative assistant for TDC Consultants and retired assistant director of Cleveland Public Works. TDC is the design firm for the project.

"This for the design and engineering for phase three," Malone said.

AERONAUTICS GRANTS

Area airports

• Cleveland Municipal: $550,000

• Marion County Airport: $300,000

Others across Tennessee

• Beech River Regional Airport: $330,000

• Carroll County Airport: $200,000

• McGhee Tyson Airport: $4 million

• McKellar-Sipes Regional Airport: $192,000

• Murfreesboro Municipal Airport: $82,000

• Rockwood Municipal Airport: $350,000

Source: Tennessee Department of Transportation, Aeronautics Division

Mark Paslick, TDC Consultants vice president in charge of planning, said the funded work doesn't end at just design services.

"That's for the pavement design," he said. "We are almost done with phase two, which was the mass grading. We're putting temporary seeding out and we had one house left [to demolish]."

Paslick said phase three paving work is undecided as far as whether to use asphalt or concrete, but the project is moving along as expected.

"We're trying to get it designed and bid so that in the spring of next year we can start paving," he said.

The Marion County Airport got $300,000 for new runway indicators, apron repairs and a new taxi lane and apron for its corporate hangars, officials said.

Airport manager Beth Gudger said the improvements will make facilities more open and accessible for corporate customers and fix some worn and weather-battered tarmac.

"We're doing a taxi lane for the corporate hangars [on the north end] and getting new visual glide slope indicators," Gudger said. The indicators help pilots determine their approach angles.

The grant also will help pay for apron repairs where the surface is cracked or deteriorated by weather and wear, she said.

The taxi lanes and an apron for the facility's corporate hangars are estimated to cost $211,700, the glide slope indicators $80,550 and apron repairs $7,750, Gudger said.

TDOT spokeswoman B.J. Doughty said the state will sign the contracts for funding and return them to the local airports within the next month.

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about Ben Benton...

Ben Benton is a news reporter at the Chattanooga Times Free Press. He covers Southeast Tennessee and previously covered North Georgia education. Ben has worked at the Times Free Press since November 2005, first covering Bledsoe and Sequatchie counties and later adding Marion, Grundy and other counties in the northern and western edges of the region to his coverage. He was born and raised in Cleveland, Tenn., a graduate of Bradley Central High School. Benton ...

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