Granby airport: Despite paving delays, county expects airport to open this month
September 1, 2008
Due to a shortage of a polymer needed as a binding agent for asphalt, construction of a new runway at the Granby Airport has been touch and go. (The shortage of binding agent has affected road crews throughout the world.)
But county officials say the airport should reopen to flights by mid-September.
“The FAA standards for asphalt for runways is high in the asphalt world,” said County Manager Lurline Underbrink Curran. Because of an inability to acquire the preferred runway asphalt, the mix being applied to the runway is the same mix put on the highways, she said.
Although it is not at the highest standard the FAA normally requires, Underbrink Curran said it has been approved by the Federal Aviation Administration and is deemed safe.
But a first test layer of the asphalt failed, causing workers to have to dig it up. Another layer is due for application next week.
The first two-inch lift of the runway is being applied in this year’s first phase of the project without the polymer. Two more inches are planned to be applied next year during the project’s second phase.
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By then, it is hoped asphalt supplies, affected by shortages in Europe and Asia, will improve, Underbrink Curran said.
The airport’s 5,000-foot long runway is being increased by 50 feet. The runway will be wider with more safety clearance and a new lighting system.
Upgrades to facilities bring the B-rated airport up to the standards of the size and frequency of the general aviation planes that use it.
As much as 95 percent of the $9 million cost of the upgrades is paid for by the federal government, with 2.5 percent paid for by the state and 2.5 percent covered by the county.
The FAA updates the airport layout plan every five years. The runway was due for repairs two years ago, but delays in federal funding delayed the project.
Underbrink Curran said both the Granby and Kremmling airports have experienced increased use in recent years, and, when finished, improvements at the Granby Airport should boost its popularity even more.
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