No delays at this airport

Construction of regional airport addition appears on track

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— The third time was a charm for laying asphalt that can handle a Boeing 757 at Yampa Valley Regional Airport.

Three 20-by-350-foot strips were laid before the asphalt met stringent FAA requirements. There is a little room for any error.

"If it fails, they have to tear it up and try it again," said YVRA airport manager Dave Ruppel. "It's quite an effort, and it's not uncommon."

Despite the laborious work of laying the asphalt for the airplane parking area apron, the airport expansion appears to be on schedule, Ruppel said.

"Seeing all this asphalt out here is very encouraging," he said.

Crews from Connell Resources will begin laying 13 inches of concrete on top of the asphalt next week. That project will finish the apron.

It's important to stay on schedule to be ready to go when heavy air traffic picks up for ski season in mid-December.

"After (Dec. 14), we're getting about 3,500 people a day," Ruppel said. "Without this new terminal we have half the (passenger) hold space that we had last year."

The goal of the terminal expansion is to double the size of the existing terminal in time for the ski season jet flights. When complete, the additional 23,500 square feet will be used to create significantly larger passenger areas, new ticket counters and a snack bar seating area on the same level as passenger waiting areas at the county-owned airport. The project, which represents the $16 million Phase 2 of a three-stage terminal expansion, also includes the expanded aircraft parking aprons that can handle heavy Boeing 757 aircraft.

About half the steel has been erected on the main terminal building addition, and crews are putting up the structural and masonry walls. Next week, the steel on the front of the building will be finished.

"We're roughly on schedule," Ruppel said. "We'll have a much better feel once they get the terminal closed in."

Crews from Connell Resources and TCD have been working long hours and on weekends to keep the project on schedule, he said.

"They've just done a phenomenal job," Ruppel said.

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