Despite weather delays and the discovery of underground running water that extended construction, as of 9 a.m. today (Thursday, Nov. 19), Stevens Field, the Archuleta County airport, now has a full-length parallel taxiway open for aircraft use.
The first half of the parallel taxiway was completed in 2008, and in May the county accepted more than $4.7 million in grant funding from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to complete the taxiway and other safety-related projects at the airport.
The project primarily consisted of extending the parallel taxiway from connector A3 to the south end of the runway, where connector A5 now sits.
Too, A3 was widened to allow aircraft to taxi from the runway to the fixed-base operator (FBO) ramp without a wingtip hitting a snowbank during winters with significant snowfall.
However, the project is not finished, and won’t be until 2016, indicated Airport Manager Kate Alfred.
The remainder of the project, which involves an additional connector, A4, cannot be completed until ground conditions allow in 2016. That work is expected to take 10-14 days to complete.
While working on A4 this year, crews ran into underground running water, which was unexpected.
According to Alfred, when crews dug out the area for A4 to put in sub-base material, it looked like a water line was hit, but, in reality, crews had run into underground running water.
Alfred said crews attempted to reroute the water several times and it now runs into a stormwater system, but the area did not dry out in time for the connector to be finished this year.