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Runway at Meridian Regional Airport to get facelift

July 4, 2021 GMT

MERIDIAN, Miss. (AP) — The main runway at Meridian Regional Airport is in line to get a makeover.

The project is needed to keep the runway in top condition because it is the longest public runway in the state and was last refurbished a little more than 20 years ago, Airport President Tom Williams said.

”Well, 20 years for the life of a runway is fairly long and it’s time to rehabilitate which basically means overlaying the runway with asphalt,” Williams said. “The last time we did that it took almost six months of night work to get it done. And that’s closing the runway at ten at night and reopening at six in the morning. It’s very demanding and expensive to do it that way.”

So this time around, Williams said all commercial flights will be halted the week of Aug. 17-23 and the Air National Guard will be temporarily relocated while the work is done, WTOK-TV reported.

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Williams said that week was chosen after consulting with SkyWest, which reported that only 12 tickets had been sold so far for that week, the lowest number of tickets of all the weeks that were under consideration for the closure.

”We’re very fortunate that SkyWest has worked with us and SkyWest has agreed to let us close the runway for a week in August,” added Williams. “The contractor will work straight through that week and can get the entire project done in one week which minimizes downtime and frankly for as little disruption over that week, makes for a lot faster project.”

The $6.5 million project, funded by the Federal Aviation Administration and the Air National Guard, will include installing a stress layer of rock under the overlay to prevent pavement cracks and overlaying the runway to meet current FAA specifications.

Grooving the pavement and placing permanent markings on the runway must wait at least 30 days after the first phase is completed for the new pavement to cure. Grooving and marking will be done at night and will not impact any flights.