Jun. 25--TRENTON, Maine -- The Hancock County-Bar Harbor Airport will receive $2.7 million to extend a section of the runway safety area this year.
The funds from the U.S. Department of Transportation through the Federal Aviation Administration will extend the safety area at the end of the runway by 800 feet to meet federal standards, according to Allison Navia, the assistant airport manager.
"This is a top safety priority for the FAA," Navia said Wednesday. "It's part of a nationwide push to improve to FAA standards. Right now, we're substandard."
The project will create a 400-foot-wide, 1,000-foot-long safety area at the south end of the 4-22 runway near the entrance road to the airport from Route 3. The current safety area is about 200 feet long, Navia said.
The federal funds provide 95 percent of the funding for the project with the state and the county splitting the rest of the cost.
According to Navia, the project includes three phases. The first will be to relocate the access road to the airport. Although the entrance from Route 3 will remain intact, the road will have to curve southward around the extended safety zone. The airport fence also will be moved.
The second phase calls for installation of a 520-foot-long, 12-foot-by-6-foot box culvert along Stony Brook, which crosses the planned runway safety area, and for relocation of the existing localizer antenna.
The final phase of the project will fill the lower ground at the end of the existing safety area to create the new area.
Harold MacQuinn Inc. was the low bidder for the project. Navia said they still are working on the paperwork before formally awarding the contract. Work is set to begin in August or September and to be completed this construction season.
The airport also has plans to extend the runway safety area at the north end of the runway. According to Navia, the airport on Wednesday completed the purchase of 16.8 acres in that area for that project, which will be done next year.