CAMDENTON, Mo. -- At last week's meeting, the Camdenton Board of Aldermen approved and passed an ordinance awarding a contract to Crawford, Murphy and Tilley Engineers to oversee improvements to the city airport's taxiways.
Camdenton Airport Manager Corey Leuwerke said the taxiway improvements are the first step in a long-range program that will eventually extend the airport's runway by 1,000 feet.
Improvements to the airport were included in the aviation portion of the Missouri Department of Transportation's (MoDOT) 2014-18 Statewide Transportation Improvement Program (STIP) released earlier this month.
In the STIP, the entire project calls for the improvements to be done in phases beginning with taxiway and hangar improvements, followed by an environmental study (already underway), land acquisition, excavation and earthwork, and the pouring of the 1,000-foot extension to the runway. In the STIP, MoDOT has scheduled the project for completion in 2016.
According to figures published in the STIP, the entire project will cost about $7.6 million over a three-year period. The project will be done in phases, with phase one being some $370,000 in improvements to the taxiways over the next few months.
Camdenton City Administrator Jeff Hancock said work on the taxiway is scheduled to begin next week and plans are to have that phase of the project completed by the Memorial Day Weekend.
In addition to adding curbs and gutters to portions of the taxiway, an asphalt overlay will be added and work will be done on some hangar facilities to accommodate larger aircraft.
Leuwerke said the improvements to the facility are needed because of increases in air traffic at the facility in recent years.
Leuwerke said after MoDOT completed and opened the Highway 5 Expressway around Camdenton and made improvements to Highway 5 between Camdenton and Lebanon, traffic at the airport has increased dramatically.
"The Expressway and the improvements to Highway 5 puts us (the Camdenton Airport) right on the doorstep of a four-lane highway, and the flying public seems to find it easy to access the entire Lake Area from here," Leuwerke said. "And we're also getting inquiries from the bigger jets that want to land here."
A portion of the taxiway project is being paid for with a block grant through the Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission.
When completed, improvements will be made to the taxiways and hangar facilities, and the runway will be widened and extended from its current length of 4,000 feet to a total of 5,000 feet.
According to the STIP, the cost of the project is broken down as follows:
• Improvements to the taxiway: $370,000.
• Land acquisition for a parallel taxiway: $600,000.
• Land acquisition for the runway extension: $450,000.
• Grading and earthwork for the runway and parallel taxiway: $4 million.
• Extension of the runway and completion of the parallel taxiway: $2.24 million.
Hancock, who took over as city administrator last week following the retirement of longtime administrator Brenda Colter, said he is pleased to see the airport improvement project get underway just as he is beginning his new job.
"It's an exciting project because it means the Lake Area is growing," Hancock said. "And I'm excited to have started this job just in time to be involved."