Third phase of Chico airport apron project beginsCHICO — The third phase of a Chico Municipal Airport improvement project is currently under way, with crews working to tear out and replace 450,000 square feet of concrete in an area where airplanes park.
The first phase of the project on the airport’s apron — the region between the airport’s runways and buildings — was completed in 2006, with the second phase completed in 2008.
The project is being conducted in multiple phases over a 10-year period.
In late June, the third phase of the project commenced, with crews from Granite Construction Company working to remove the existing apron and taxiway and installing and paving a new portion of the apron.
Portions of the apron are more than six decades old, with the concrete cracked, and in some places broken, City Manager Dave Burkland said.
The $2.5 million project is largely funded by the Federal Aviation Administration. The city’s share of the project is approximately $125,000, with the funding coming from the city’s redevelopment fund, Burkland said.
Burkland said the apron upgrade is necessary for safety, adding that the work is part of the city’s overall maintenance of the airport.
“It’s a continuation of improvements at the airport to keep it in good shape,” Burkland said.
The project’s benefits also cross over into the construction industry, which has been hit hard by the economic recession.
Jeff Tatlow, Granite Construction grading foreman, said the project is employing approximately 13 individuals.
Without the airport improvement project, Tatlow said several members of the project’s crew could be unemployed this summer.
Tatlow said he was without work the first three weeks of June before construction on the apron began.
“This is a really needed job,” Tatlow said.
Tatlow said some members of the crew hail from Butte County, with the majority of the workers residing in Sacramento. Burkland said the city cannot enact a preference for local bidders on federal projects.
Construction on the apron is expected to continue until the middle of September.