BRIDGEPORT, W.Va. — Harrison County officials worked for months on a proposal to Gov. Jim Justice to revamp the North Central West Virginia Airport in Bridgeport — including spending 1 1/2 years on a proposal for a new terminal — which the governor announced last week.
“As soon as we get everything squared around about receiving the money, we’ll start the work,” Harrison County Commissioner David Hinkle said last week on MetroNews “Talkline.”
The announced $20 million funding package will go toward the $70 million renovation project, which involves filling in two valleys adjacent to the existing runway, a new terminal with access to West Virginia Route 279, and a new aerotech park with access to the 7,800-foot runway.
“We think the dirt moving project will take roughly a year, and during that same time we will begin construction of a new terminal, which will have three gates, two jet bridges and probably close to twice the space that we have now,” Hinkle added.
Hinkle said the two filing projects will involve 2 million cubic yards of dirt.
According to Justice, the state Infrastructure Jobs Development Council will support the project with a $10 million grant. He will also request a $10 million loan from the West Virginia Economic Development Authority.
Hinkle said in regards to covering the related costs, Marion and Harrison counties will support the project and the Federal Aviation Administration is funding construction of the new tarmac and taxiway. The airport will also borrow money. Hinkle added the project will take at least two years to complete but will be worth it if there are more flights and more jobs.
“We’re a $1.1 billion economic driver for our area,” he said. “We use 650,000 square feet of building right now, and with this new construction, we’ll be able to build over a million square feet of commercial buildings.”