Airport runway face-lift up for bid | TahoeDailyTribune.com
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Airport runway face-lift up for bid

Susan Wood
Dan Thrift / Tahoe Daily Tribune / The city is accepting bids from contractors until 2 p.m. Aug. 5 to make repairs to the Lake Tahoe Airport runway. Some cracks are almost 2 inches wide.
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Airport management wants to ensure the South Shore aviation facility doesn’t fall between the cracks.

Due to get a face-lift as part of a $500,000 improvement plan, the Lake Tahoe Airport will receive bids to repair the runway. Bids are due by Aug. 5 at 2 p.m., with the city conducting a conference for bidders at 10 a.m. Friday at the airport.

In some places, the cracks are almost 2 inches wide.

“We’ve got to improve our infrastructure,” said Smokey Rickerd, the city’s transportation, solid waste and special projects coordinator.

If neglected, the Federal Aviation Administration may close the runway. The FAA paid a visit to the facility in May and took note of the crumbling site.

“What’s going to wind up happening is with more time, there’s more deterioration with the cracks becoming wider and debris popping up. Pretty soon, airplanes won’t want to fly here,” Rickerd said.

As part of a grant-reform trend, the federal government will pick up 95 percent of the cost of justified improvements. The state traditionally kicks in 4.75 percent. This leaves a quarter of a percent the city needs to match.

Also included in the facility plan, the city wants to study future potential uses for the airport, as well as a design proposal and safety study.

“We need to know what comes out of those to really see how to go forward with the airport,” he said.

There’s been much talk recently of turning the airport into a government center, to house city hall with a complex spanning from the terminal to new structures in the parking lot.

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