Garfield County Airport upgrade nearing takeoff |

Garfield County Airport upgrade nearing takeoff

John Colson
Glenwood Springs correspondent
Aspen, CO Colorado

GLENWOOD SPRINGS – Work is to begin soon to realign the runway of the Garfield County Airport, as part of an ongoing plan to get the airport near Rifle qualified as a backup to general aviation aircraft originally bound for Denver International Airport.

But the work depends on final approval of a Federal Aviation Administration grant of between $13.5 million and $14.5 million, according to airport director Brian Condie.

Condie told the Garfield County commissioners on Monday that he expects to award bids for the runway work next week, with actual construction to begin on July 6, if all goes according to plans.

Condie told the commissioners the county must come up with a 5 percent match for the construction project.

At the same time this summer, the Xcel Energy company is expected to begin work to relocate a portion of the company’s 25-kilovolt line along county roads at the northern end of the runway, and airport officials are about to embark on upgrades to the instrument landing system required by the FAA.

The power line relocation will cost the county a little more than $160,000 for the first phase of construction, and a total of $300,000 to relocate and, in some instances, bury power lines in the area surrounding the northern end of the runway.

County officials said they are hoping to meet the necessary deadlines to be included on 2010 air traffic charts as a backup for DIA private aircraft traffic.

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