CHARLESTON, W. Va. — Work to rebuild Yeager Airport’s slope that collapsed nearly one year ago could begin by this summer, according to airport director Terry Sayre.
The rest of the cleanup could take about 8 to 10 weeks, weather permitting, meaning crews won’t be able to start the rebuilding process until after May, Sayre said.
Crews removed about 300,000 cubic yards of material, so far, and have about 200,000 more to go.
“You can’t rebuild it until you get the mess cleaned up,” Sayre said following a Wednesday board meeting.
But the airport continues to struggle to come up with funds to pay for the slide damage. Last month, the Federal Emergency Management Agency approved a $300,000 reimbursement, but airport officials have yet to receive it.
Meanwhile, a court date has been set in the legal battle between the airport and its insurance companies over who will pay for the cleanup and reconstruction of the slide. A hearing is scheduled for Mar. 22 at 3 p.m. in Kanawha County Circuit Court.
“Hectic” is how Sayre described the last year following the slope failure. Mar. 12 will mark the one year anniversary since the landslide destroyed a church and damaged several homes along Keystone Drive in Charleston.
“After the collapse of the emass structure, I think we were here 60-some-odd days in a row every day working trying just to fix problems,” he said.
Design plans to rebuild the slope have been placed on hold until the airport can come up with enough money. Even after the airport receives funds, Sayre said the rebuilding process will take some time.
“You’re probably looking at 18 months to 2 years for the whole design and construction,” he said.