ATHENS — The Gordon K. Bush Ohio University Airport runway will close (runway only) from June 12 to July 3 for a pavement rehabilitation project to be completed.
The airport in Albany serves the general aviation needs of Athens County and portions of several adjoining counties. It has the longest runway and most sophisticated approaches when compared to other area airports. It also has more than 50 based aircraft and supports more than 54,000 annual aircraft operations.
Airplanes will not be able to take off or land during the closure; however, helicopter traffic will not be affected.
During the $2.55 million Federal Aviation Administration airport improvement construction project, workers will complete 3 inches of pavement milling, repair exposed pavement as needed, then resurface the runway with 3 inches of new FAA P-401 asphalt.
Shelly & Sands Construction is the main contractor and CHA is the project/construction management and design firm for the project.
After the pavement rehabilitation is completed, the runway markings will be painted at a 50 percent application rate. After 30 days of pavement curing, the final 50 percent of the pavement marking application will be applied. This second application will cause the runway to be closed for an additional four days. The airport will reopen again in early August.
Andrew Doll, airport director, said the current runway was paved in 1991, so the resurfacing was needed since most runways are paved every 15 years. He said the pavement has developed many longitudinal and latitudinal cracks over the years, so the resurfacing will make the runway safer.
“The current pavement on the runway is way beyond its useful life and this project is well overdue,” Doll said. “During the closure, our staff will be able to complete some other maintenance projects and repairs to space around the runway that are not possible while it is open to traffic.”
Because of the closure, the Ohio University Aviation Flight Training program will move 14 of its aircraft to the Mid-Ohio Valley Regional Airport near Parkersburg, W.Va., next week so that the 57 aviation majors attending summer school can continue their training. They are scheduled to return the aircraft to the Ohio University Airport on July 5.
Mark Atkinson, aviation business administrator at Ohio University, said he is excited about the new opportunities the temporary relocation provides for the students.
“The students will experience some new things at the new location,” Atkinson said. “The West Virginia airport has a control tower, which we don’t have in Albany. Just being in a different area and airport will provide a unique learning experience for all of them.”