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Construction continues at city airport
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Construction will soon pick back up on two aprons at the Covington Municipal Airport after the city council voted unanimously at their meeting Monday night to proceed with Phase II and Phase III of construction.

Airport Manager Vincent Passariello presented the council with an update of work being done at the airport, which included the construction of Phase II and Phase III of the southeast aprons, which are areas aircraft board and refuel. The southeast side is where the city hopes to build a new airport terminal building and entrance off Ga. Highway 142.

Passariello said the construction of the aprons was a large project for the city and had to be split up into phases.

"This is a very big project, so what we did was divide the project into different phases and we call them Phase I, II, III and IV," Passariello said. "Phase II is everything north of the creek (which runs from City Pond southeast along the lines of trees) and Phase III is everything south of the creek."

At the Sept. 17 council meeting Passariello requested council approve a notice to proceed, which he said is document given to a contractor that determined if they could begin the project.

"Everything is in place. We've got all the permits, we got all the money so we can start," he said.

Passariello said in June 2009 the city signed a contract with the Georgia Department of Transportation, the Federal Aviation Authority and Pittman Construction Company, out of Conyers, for a total of $5.44 million The money was designated for resurfacing existing aprons at the airport, resurfacing the runways, relocating the fuel farm and replacing some of the runway lighting. Of those funds, $3.24 million have been used for those projects.

He said the city hired LPA Group and CROY Engineering as new consultants in July and August of 2009. CROY Engineering was contracted to design Phase II of the SE Apron.
Passariello said in July the company discovered there were wetlands in the area, and they had to obtain U.S. Army Corp of Engineering permits to continue building the aprons across the existing wetlands and stream.

Passariello said all the construction plans have been completed for the aprons, and they have been submitted to the Georgia Department of Natural Resources for approval.

He said $2.2 million worth of funding is left, but the city will not be able to complete the entire project.

Passariello said with those funds work will be completed to comply with the USACE permit, the majority of development work and access for emergency vehicles from Ga. Highway 142.

The council also approved acceptance of a FAA grant for $295,294.

"This is a new grant that was offered," he said. "We're going to use that grant for reimbursement of expenses we have already spent."

Passariello said as funds become available the city will proceed with the completion of the project and also build a new terminal when approved by council.