CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Work to repair the massive hillside at Charleston’s Yeager Airport could start shortly after the three-year anniversary of the collapse.
The airport’s Construction Committee voted Tuesday to select Orders Construction to complete the work which is scheduled to start in early April.
Yeager received three bids. Orders Construction submitted the lowest offer at $14.9 million.
The full board is expected to approve the bid at its Wednesday meeting. The Federal Aviation Administration will also need to okay the bid contract.
“Our goal is to get this up and running and completed,” said airport director Terry Sayre.
Part of the airport’s EMAS (Engineered Material Arresting System) that sits at the end of the runway collapsed on March 12, 2015.
“I remember that day very well. It’s etched in my mind,” Sayre said. “The rebuild will start after three years. It’s been a long time.”
Since then, Yeager officials have been working to generate funds to pay for construction on both ends of the runway. The first phase of the project includes installing new EMAS blocks on the 5-end, where the slide occurred.
The blocks will be delivered by October from the manufacturer Zodiac Aerospace.
“Once we get that done, that will get us back 577 feet of the runway that we had to displace because of the collapse,” Sayre said. “It will be a big improvement for aviation.”
The second phase will be to extend the 2-3 end of the runway into Coonskin Park. That phase alone is expected to cost around $150 million.
“It will be a large project, a lot of earth moving,” Sayre said.
Sayre said the goal is to finish the project by late fall.