Starting next Monday, June 30, construction will begin on runway 1836 at the Sedalia Regional Airport. The construction will consist of the tearing down and rebuilding the main runway, enabling it to handle more weight, as well as taking care of a cracking problem due to age and heat.
“We are going to be replacing our main runway, which is runway 1836. It is a 5,500 foot runway and it was built in the early “70s. It is getting cracked and we have had three blowouts over the past three years. The runway is getting so rough in spots, our regular corporate planes said they are wearing out tires faster,” Airport Director John Evans said.
Evans was asked how many planes use the Sedalia Regional Airport on a regular basis.
“That runway averages about 32 takeoffs and landings a day. Right now it is built to hold 48,000 pounds of tandem axle. The new runway will hold 60,000 tandem axle pounds, which means the bigger corporate jets can land without putting wear and tear on it,” Evans replied.
“Ideker Construction is the contractor. They’ve done the Downtown Kansas City Airport and Kansas City International Airport. They are really good at airports and they were the low bidder too.
“This project will start on the 30th. The first thing they will do is come in on the cross runway and restripe it. They are going to take out the old runway lights from 1836 and they will light runway 523, which isn’t lit right now,” Evans said.
Evans was asked how long construction on the new runway is expected to take and how it will impact the current business at the airport.
“Construction could take 3-5 months. If we have a nice, dry summer they can get it done faster, closer to the three month side. It is such a big project that they are setting up a temporary concrete batch plant. While the construction is going on, we will lose our bigger jet traffic. It is just something you have to do,” Evans explained.
Evans was asked how the project is to be funded and how much it will cost.
“It will be paid for by Federal FAA Airport Improvement grants. The FAA and MoDOT Aviation will pay 95 percent and the city pays the other five percent. Five years ago this April they gave us a $450,000 grant to design this runway. It has already been budgeted in. They were estimating that it would be a five million dollar project. It was actually bid at $3.2 million,” Evans said.
He added, “The new runway will help the local economy with the pilots buying fuel and food while they are here. We’ve needed it for a long time.” Photos by Randy Kirby, Sedalia Weekly Observer.