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MCRA receives unexpected work completion at Air Transportation Park

MCRA officials said Mid-Atlantic is nearing the completion of a 500,000 gallon water storage tank at the Appalachian Regional Airport and that this portion of the infrastructure project should be finished in early 2020. (Photo courtesy of E.L. Robinson Engineering)

During her report to the board of directors at this month’s Mingo County Redevelopment Authority meeting, Executive Director Leasha Johnson said two familiar phases of work now being performed at the Air Transportation Park are rapidly nearing completion.

Another phase of work was recently completed at the site as well, Johnson said. However, the completion of this particular job came unexpectedly, with the details surrounding it being even less known.

She said the other, somewhat surprising and lesser known project came about shortly after the MCRA’s last board meeting in October when the West Virginia Department of Highways paved the Air Transportation Park’s access road from its entry point at U.S. 52 to the guard shack located approximately one and a half miles up the mountain to the airport.

She said the stopping point at the guard shack is the endpoint of the state’s right-of way.

“No one is really taking credit for (the paving project) yet … right now we don’t know how that happened,” she said. “I’ve been begging for the road to get paved for years and basically out of nowhere it got paved. But that’s definitely a good thing and we’re very happy about it.”The roughly half of access road remaining from the guard shack to the airport, she pointed out, is owned by the MCRA and funds are currently being sought to finish out the paving.

“That’s why we’re currently working on the feasibility study and cost benefit analysis to apply for a build grant to get the remainder of the access road finished, which is also about one and a half miles left to get paved,” she said.

With respect to the feasibility study and grant application, Johnson said, the process is now in its final stages and that the MCRA is waiting on letters of support from Congressional representatives and project partners.

“She said these partners include the Mingo County Commission and the Mingo County Airport Authority and could possibly include AEP and Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College as well.

“AEP and Southern could be considered as well because they’ve become partners in the development of an aerospace curriculum at the airport,” she said.

Regarding the known stages of work, which are the separately contracted water/sewer line and water storage tank projects, Johnson said both are falling a little short of their original completion dates in December but that each should be finished and operational by early next year.

The water/sewer line is in the ground, she said, and the sewage holding tank is nearly complete. However, the contractor, Chojnaki Construction, is currently waiting for the connection to be made to the pump station, which she pointed out is still not ready for the sewage line to be connected.

“The total project, including the installation of the sewage holding tank, the waterline and all the connections are expected to be completed by the first of the year,” she said. “Currently, all the line is in the ground but they’re waiting for the connection to the pump station, which is not completely operational yet. But, Chojnaki is able to flush the line until the tank is completed.”

Johnson said Mid-Atlantic, which is the company contracted to construct a 500,000 gallon water storage tank, as of last week had completed four of the nine rings of the tank and should still finish this phase of the work by the end of this month or by early January.

In total, $2.6 million infrastructure projects include a 1,600-foot waterline extension, a sewage holding facility, a 125 gpm booster station, radio telemetry and the water storage tank.

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