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Paving, electrical upgrades planned at airfield

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By Jon Hawley
Staff Writer

Sunday, July 29, 2018

New paving and electrical upgrades are coming next year to the airfield at U.S. Coast Guard Base Elizabeth City.

More ambitious work, such as shifting an entire runway south, is not on the horizon, however.

The Coast Guard has slated several major maintenance projects for November 2019, Base Cmdr. Randy Meador and Lt. Cmdr. Lisa Sharkey told The Daily Advance earlier this month.

First, Meador said Civil Engineering Unit Cleveland plans to repave Taxiway G and rehabilitate the aprons serving the Aviation Logistics Center and Gates 1 and 3. He added the work should take 160 days.

Additionally, a separate facilities design and construction project will begin next November, including “new construction required to recapitalize Taxiway C (south of Runway 10-28) and Taxiway G (west of Taxiway C to the western edge of the Elizabeth City Regional Airport).” Sharkey clarified that includes mill-and-overlay work, plus some reconstruction at taxiway edges.

The project will also include airfield electrical/lighting systems for Runway 10-28 and its taxiways, Meador said. It should take a year, he added.

Meador also said the project will be “phased to minimize any runway closures” He elaborated closures could result from replacing center-line and threshold lighting, and pavement work at runway entry points. Base Elizabeth City, the Air Station and others will coordinate to minimize impacts.

Asked how much the projects would cost, Meador said they’re both being designed still and precise costs are to be determined. That said, “the Coast Guard expects these projects to cost several million dollars each,” he added.

Meador also briefly addressed projects the Elizabeth City Regional Airport itself has proposed for Base Elizabeth City. The Coast Guard shares its runways, 10-28 and the now-closed 1-19, with the airport, and the airport last year unveiled a 20-year master plan for the airport. The grant-funded, $400,000 plan lays out more than $33 million worth of improvements for the airport. Some of the larger projects are for the Coast Guard’s runways, including shifting Runway 10-28 about 400 feet south to open up more space for Coast Guard operations.

After noting Runway 10-28’s pavement is in “very good condition,” Meador wrote the Coast Guard has no plans currently to move 10-28.

The master plan has also called for rehabilitating Runway 1-19 — currently in poor and unusable condition — and extending it to accommodate larger aircraft, projects estimated at $15.6 million, including buying necessary property.

Though the Coast Guard determines Base Elizabeth City’s needs independently from the master plan, Meador also noted rehabilitating Runway 1-19 is a top priority for the Air Station.

With Runway 1-19 and associated taxiways rehabilitated, Rowell has said he’s also hoping to build new T-Hangars nearby, offering more space for pilots and hopefully generating more revenue for the airport.

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