YVRA to get full project funding

Bush extends FAA bill, taxiway repairs will go ahead this summer

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— Yampa Valley Regional Airport will get the federal funding it needs for summer projects, Airport Manager Dave Ruppel said.

President Bush approved a three-month extension of the Federal Aviatio n Administration funding bill Monday. The OK runs through the end of September.

"The three-month extension will allow the FAA to distribute the remaining AIP funds that airports are slated to receive during the current fiscal year," an American Association of Airport Executives news release stated. The AIP is the Airport Improvement Program.

YVRA in Hayden is slated to get some of those funds for a taxiway rehabilitation project. The total cost will be about $3.5 million, Ruppel said, and the grant requires a local match of 5 percent. The Colorado Department of Transportation is covering half of that.

Airports nationwide had been waiting for FAA reauthorization for months. Because of the funding uncertainty, YVRA had to create a contingency plan. Had the funding not gone through, the projects would have received only 75 percent of the requested money.

"Basically, what it means to us is that the full project will be able to go ahead this year," Ruppel said of the taxiway repairs. "We had structured the project so we could do 75 percent of it based on the funding that was approved."

The airport can plan for 100 percent now, he said.

"It's about a 50-day project," Ruppel said. "We've already got the bids in, and we're preparing to award the contract. : We're on track, and we hope to start in August so we'll be able to have it completed before the weather gets too cold to do asphalt."

YVRA also plans to buy another fire truck. YVRA still is ironing out the purchase and negotiating with bidders. Ruppel said that deal should go through in the next few weeks.

Beyond that, he said, the airport is bustling.

"Summer is a pretty busy time for us, with correcting all the damage that happens during the winter with weather and erosion," Ruppel said. "It's a pretty big job to get things to the standard they should be. : Plus, my staff is reduced by about three-fourths, so we're a little bit short on people. But the airport's looking good."

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