Washington Regional Airport

Upgrades to the Washington Regional Airport will begin in 2018, including a new concrete apron at the fueling station.

According to Washington Director of Public Services John Nilges, the project to replace the asphalt with concrete in front of the two airplane fueling stations was awarded in September to Raineri Construction LLC, St. Louis.

“It is the only area in the airport with asphalt,” he said. 

The project at the airport located in Warren County is funded through a state block grant through the airport improvement program administrated by the Missouri Department of Transportation. The grant was for $303,157, with a local match of $42,650. 

The grant includes funds to restripe the tarmac, however, bids for that portion of the project came in much higher than expected, Nilges said. 

“The alternate to restripe the tarmac was too high,” he commented. “We will let that project in the spring in an effort to get better bid numbers.”

Nilges noted that the paving season had ended when the bid to replace the asphalt was approved. That is why the project is slated for the spring of 2018.

Master Plan

The concrete apron and restriping are part of the 20-year master plan updated and adopted by the Washington City Council earlier this year.

The revised plan maps out the next phases of major improvement projects for the city’s airfield.

Approving the revised master plan put the city in position to obtain federal grants to finance improvements.

The plan also is a requirement for the city to continue to receive annual entitlement funds through the Federal Aviation Administration. 

Each year the city receives $160,000 in federal funds to be used for capital improvements. Nilges noted that the newest hangar at the airport was built using those entitlement funds. 

Crawford, Murphy & Tilly Inc. (CMT) was awarded the master plan contract. The contract called for a total price not to exceed $254,000. 

CMT developed the original master plan for the airport in the mid-1980s, but that plan was not implemented due to strong opposition to airport expansion at that time.

When the airport project was revived more than a decade later, CMT updated that original plan, which led to expansion of the runway and other improvements earlier this decade.

Ninety-five percent of the cost for the master plan and airport layout plan will be funded with state and federal grants. The city’s 5 percent match is $17,163.

According to airport officials, the city put off finishing the master plan with the hope that the number of large aircraft using the field would increase. 

A greater number of large aircraft users would boost the chances of getting grants to build a longer runway. However, the numbers have not increased, so the city has decided to go with regional numbers in the plan.

Some of the major projects in the new 20-year plan are:

• Extending and widening the landing strip from 5,000 by 75 feet to 5,500 by 100 feet:

• Enlarging the ramp area; and 

• Building a new terminal/main hangar.