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Published: Sunday, 6/19/2005

Federal paperwork rules delay runway job

Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority officials have plans to rebuild the secondary runway at Metcalf Field, but the project's start may depend on the Federal Aviation Administration.

The port authority's airport committee Friday reviewed a bid summary for a reconstruction contract for which the lowest offer, $1,309,970.75, came from Diversified Road & Pipe Inc. of Whitehouse.

A contract award to Diversified will be on the agenda for a meeting of the port's full board of directors next week.

"The runway is basically shot. It's the original runway from the 1920s," Airport Director Paul Toth told the airport committee. "It has been overlaid a few times, but it's got sub-grade failure now."

But because the project will include narrowing the runway, lengthening it by 100 feet, and realigning its centerline, the work cannot begin until the FAA officially publishes the runway's new profile, Mr. Toth said. Publication could take anywhere from 6 to 18 months, he said.

Built 150 feet wide, the 3,664-foot-long runway is too short for any plane big enough to need that much width, which is why rebuilding it with a 75-foot width is appropriate, Mr. Toth said.

Metcalf's 5,880-foot main runway, used by corporate jets, is 100 feet wide.

Along with the contract amount, airport staff have recommended spending up to $70,000 for Reynolds, Smith & Hills, an engineering consultant, to oversee the construction.

Most of the money for the project will be $1.04 million in federal grants passed through the Ohio Department of Transportation's airports fund, the airport director said.

Another $300,000 will come from FAA general aviation funds directly assigned to Metcalf, he said, with the balance to be covered with port authority dollars.

The runway reconstruction is not the only work Mr. Toth has planned for Metcalf.

Design funds have been budgeted for a project to extend a taxiway to the northwest end of the airport's main runway.

Planes arriving at that end of the runway now must turn around and taxi back on the runway, which is not an ideal situation, the airport director said.



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