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Airport gets $423K grant for runway improvements

The Altoona-Blair County Airport has been awarded a $423,741 federal grant to cover the remaining cost of finishing a runway improvement project.

The grant, announced Tuesday by U.S. Rep. John Joyce, R-13th District, will put the airport in a position to complete the project by the end of the summer, airport Manager Tracy Plessinger said.

The airport started the crosswinds runway improvement project last year with money secured from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act for transportation improvements.

New Enterprise Stone & Lime handled last year’s work after submitting the low bid to secure the contract.

For this year’s portion of the project, Cottle’s Asphalt of Everett secured the contract by submitting the low bid, with the cost to be covered by the federal grant Joyce announced Tuesday.

“Enhancing physical infrastructure and refurbishing the airport runway is critical to ensuring the continued success of the airport and its benefits for our community,” Joyce said in his announcement.

Plessinger said that the improvements being made to the crosswinds runway — one of two runways at the airport — should last about 20 to 25 years.

“That runway,” the manager said, “was to the point that it needed to be rehabilitated.”

Due to the availability of federal grant funds for the project — earmarked to cover transportation expenses — the local airport authority did not have to allocate money for the project, Plessinger said.

Mirror Staff Writer Kay Stephens is at 814-946-7456.

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