The Daily Globe - Serving Gogebic, Iron and Ontonagon Counties

Construction continues on airport taxiway


Katie Perttunen/Daily Globe

EIGHTY PERCENT of the subgrade is in place on the new taxiway being built at the Gogebic-Iron County Airport on Friday. The $1.85 million project is scheduled for completion by July 1, after the sand and gravel have a chance to settle over winter, said Mike Harma, airport manager.

IRONWOOD TOWNSHIP — A $1.85 million taxiway project began at the Gogebic-Iron County Airport on Sept. 3, but won’t be completed until next summer.

Airport manager Mike Harma said completion is scheduled for July 1.

The second runway at the airport has been closed for a long time, Harma said. The additional taxiway will provide safety for passengers by providing for a space for planes waiting to take off, while other planes are landing.

The runway was built in the 1950s, Harma said He has been managing the airport since January.

Eighty percent of the subgrade is in place, Harma said, and workers from James Peterson and Sons of Medford, Wis., were finishing burying light cans on Friday.

Next week, gravel will be put down.

Currently, planes have to delay landing if another plane is on the runway getting ready to take off, Harma said. Other airports with this system have had close calls, which is why the Federal Aviation Administration wants airports to install taxiways, Harma said.

The next phase of the project will be engineered in 2014, with construction in 2015, Harma said, completing a full parallel runway for the airport.

The project is funded through a federal grant, with 95 percent of the money coming from the FAA. The state of Michigan and the airport split the remaining 5 percent.

Construction will be on hold for the winter season at the end of the month, Harma said, with blacktopping and wiring for runway lighting on the schedule for next spring.

—Katie Perttunen


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