A change order with the contractor who is working on the runway extension project at Cornelius Moore Field was approved by the Polk County Commission during their February regular session.
Commissioners voted unanimously to allow the Astra Group, Inc., to move ahead with a change order for the project that remains underway and will be ongoing through at least the summer months as the unpredictability of the weather continues to cause delays in construction work.
“This is a minor change, and should provide us with some savings,” County Manager Matt Denton said. “The last change order we did with DOT, it realigned our schedule of (material) quantities with DOT, and for accounting purposes DOT needs us to approve a new schedule of quantities to go down in our contract with Astra.”
Denton said the savings totaled somewhere around $27,000 on the project.
Commissioners during the February session also approved a fix in a vote they made in January on a application approved for funding of a runway crack sealing project the county hopes to undertake while the extension project is ongoing. The requested project would also see rejuvenation of the runway as well.
As work continues on the project, Airport Loop Road remains closed except to local traffic as machinery remains on the move to extend the runway from its current length out to 5,000 feet. Airport Manager Chuck Beavers said that drivers in the area should expect the road around Cornelius Moore Field to remain closed through July.
“We apologize for the inconvenience this has caused area residents,” Beavers said.
Original plans had hoped to see the roadway back open to traffic in March, but wet weather persisting through winter has forced the county to push back the re-opening date for Airport Loop Road.
He did add that progress is being seen daily on the site. One area already nearing completion is a 200 foot Runway Safe Area that will be grassed over and provide additional emergency overrun for planes that are experiencing mechanical difficulties and need the extra room to stop.