Federal grant paid for bulk of $3.2 million project

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FARMINGTON — Construction on three taxiways at the Four Corners Regional Airport was completed Tuesday after several months of work.

When reached by phone, airport manager Mike Lewis said the taxiways opened for use on Wednesday.

Taxiways E, F and G were demolished and reconstructed as part of work that began last fall. Lewis said the project was done in two phases because construction had to be halted during the winter.

The three taxiways were crumbling, and the clay soil beneath them created problems because it was susceptible to freezing and melting, which caused buckles in the pavement, Lewis said.

He said the construction was needed because the taxiways had reached the end of their useful life. In addition to reconstructing the taxiways, the construction corrected problems with the clay soil beneath the taxiways by filling in new soil.

The approximately $3.2 million project was funded by a grant from the Federal Aviation Administration. The federal agency paid nearly 94 percent of the costs, and the remainder were shared by the city and the state.

Lewis said the work will keep the pavement smooth and prevent it from deteriorating. He said deteriorated pavement can lead to pieces of the asphalt breaking off and damaging aircraft.

“This is another part in getting the airport up to where it needs to be,” Lewis said.

The airport has future plans that include adding a substrate at the end of the runways to stop planes that overshoot the landing. That will prevent the planes from crashing over the edge of the bluff.

The Four Corners Regional Airport is in the process of trying to improve its classification and attract commercial airlines. During the taxiway reconstruction, the position of one taxiway was adjusted to help accommodate larger planes.

Hannah Grover covers government for The Daily Times. She can be reached at 505-564-4652 or via email at hgrover@daily-times.com.

 

 

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