Cement shortage slows YVRA | SteamboatToday.com

Cement shortage slows YVRA

The nationwide cement shortage has caught up with the paving project at Yampa Valley Regional Airport. But Routt County officials don’t think the problem will inconvenience air travelers.

“We’re moving along regardless of the concrete situation,” County Commissioner Dan Ellison said Monday.

The shortage means some sidewalks won’t be poured this fall, but a new asphalt parking lot should ensure that travelers can avoid muddy areas on their way to and from the terminal.

“It has really delayed us,” County Manager Tom Sullivan said. “Because of a lack of concrete, we’re three weeks behind. We’re hoping to pour concrete next week. We should be able to pour all of the concrete curbs, which will allow us to pave the parking lots.”

Construction crews also will pour the sidewalk in front of the terminal, Sullivan said.

County officials are in the midst of the second phase of expansion at Yampa Valley Regional Airport, 22 miles west of Steamboat Springs. This year’s paving and road realignment work is in preparation for continued Phase 2 work in summer 2006. Now, a portion of this year’s concrete work will be deferred until next year.

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“Originally, plans called for pouring 1,500 cubic yards of concrete this year,” Sullivan said. “Now, we’re scaling that back to only 600.”

The deferred work consists largely of a sidewalk that would wrap around the west end of the new parking lot, Sullivan said. However, the delay shouldn’t trouble airport visitors, who will be able to wheel their luggage through the asphalt parking lot until they reach a paved sidewalk closer to the terminal.

Increased worldwide demand for cement, a primary ingredient in concrete, has contributed to the shortage. Hurricane damage to the port of New Orleans also has been a factor. Sullivan said the YVRA contractor, Connell Resources, is trying to determine whether it will have to go to the more expensive California market to acquire enough cement for the 600 cubic yards of concrete needed for the parking lot curbs. Airport officials also are pursuing a report of a stockpile of cement in Mexico that could be tapped.

The need to pursue cement from out-of-state sources could increase the cost of the project by almost $12,000, Sullivan said. The county will negotiate with Connell for a split on any cost overruns, he added.

Next summer’s work will include a terminal expansion that will create more passenger waiting areas and an even more concrete-intensive paving project. Expanding the aircraft parking apron to accommodate three Boeing 757s necessitates a deep pour to support the weight of the big jets, Sullivan said.

— To reach Tom Ross, call 871-4205 or e-mail tross@steamboatpilot.com