MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – The construction phase of the extension of the runway at Morgantown Airport is slated to begin this month.
What this first phase encompasses is building up a portion of the base that we’re going to need for the extension. The first part is going to be the base for the taxiway, the parallel taxiway. We will be doing a lot of grubbing and tree clearing, and we will be sorting aggregate and preparing it for the full base.Jonathon Vrabel – Airport Director
Aggregates are raw materials produced from natural sources and extracted from places like pits and quarries. They can include gravel, crushed stone, and sand.
Vrabel said there are two borrow sites, one on the west side of the airport and the other on the eastside. Both sites will be used to separate the aggregate so that it can be used to build the foundation for the runway.
All of this will involve moving 4.4 million cubic yards of fill. Some large aggregate will be used to create the base’s bottom portion, which holds everything in place. The smaller aggregate will be used as filler in later phases, Vrabel said.
Seeing all of the planning come to fruition is exciting, Vrabel said.
“Oh, we’re very excited,” he said. “This will kind of create the economic movement for the airport and the I-68 Commerce Park. With this happening, we will be able to start doing a lot of different developments around this area that will be a boost for Morgantown, bring in some more employment to the area, and really just help the area grow tremendously.”
The future site of the I-68 Commerce Park is actually the east side of the airport, one of the borrow sites.
Weather permitting, the first phase should run until December and require 265 days of work. Vrabel said he is meeting with contractors this week to finalize the details and learn how exactly the job will be tackled.
“This is just a great opportunity for the region,” he said. “You know, it’s the largest project that the city has ever done; economic project including this extension along with the I-68 Commerce Park. It’s a big piece to help with economic development in the area. This will allow the airport to increase its safety for our current users and allow more users to use our airport.”