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Project coming for port district


Port District 7 officials, their engineering firm, USKH of Spokane, and contractor Blackrock Construction, of Moses Lake, plan a pre-construction meeting on a building to house a new dump truck with snow blade sometime next week.

The building and truck will cost more than $300,000.

Commissioners walked through the construction plan at their last meeting and reviewed funding for the combined project.

The truck and building have been on the port district burner for about a year and the need for the truck had reached the critical stage.

An existing truck and blade has been plagued with problems, with workers barely able to get the truck operable. The port district uses the truck and blade, among other things, to clear snow from the 4,200 foot runway, and airport staging area.

The major funding, from 2013 grant funds from the Federal Aviation Administration, will cover 90 percent of the cost. Another 5 percent of the total cost is covered by the Washington State Department of Transportation (aviation division), and 5 percent from the Port District.

Some of the Port District’s portion, about $7,000, is being covered by Grant County’s Strategic Infrastructure Program (SIP) through a grant issued last year.

The building, a 35-by-40-foot steel structure, will seit at the bottom of the entrance road at the airport.

Timothy Kyker, an engineer from USKH, told commissioners last week that his firm is currently working on the specifications for the new dump truck and snow blade. That will go out to bid this spring.

District Chairman Jim Keene said construction of the building will commence sometime this spring.

Another project, the filling of cracks in the runway, could happen sometime this year.

“It all depends where it lands on our priority list,” Keene stated.

Airport Manager Bob Babler had informed commissioners that the cracks in the runway were a serious problem.

A month ago, two USKH engineers from Boise walked the runway and waved a red flag before commissioners.

All agreed that water running through the cracks could develop more serious problems for the airport if they were not fixed.

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