With a newly extended main runway and added taxiway, Freeman Municipal Airport in Seymour has undergone around $5 million in major renovations over the past year.
But that doesn’t mean work is finished, as another project is set to begin later this spring.
The Seymour Airport Authority recently opened bids for the first phase of a project to remove and replace a trench drain in the apron area where aircraft park to load or unload, refuel or for maintenance.
A total of five bids were received with the lowest being $197,445.36 from All-Star Paving Inc. of Seymour. The bid is well under the engineer’s estimated cost of $260,000.
The project will be 100% funded through a grant from the Federal Aviation Administration, said Airport Manager Don Furlow.
The main purpose of the trench drain is to remove stormwater from the apron.
“The drain has failed in multiple locations, causing drainage issues on the main apron area,” Furlow said. “We get a lot of water whenever it rains, but it’s not excessive to where it’s flooded. It’s still working, but it’s in bad shape and needs repaired.”
During the winter when the ground freezes, it has caused heaving and crumbling of the asphalt in the area of the trench drain. This can lead to damage to aircraft tires and causes issues when airport staff have to plow away snow, Furlow said.
“It really started coming up just this past year,” he said.
Although he isn’t sure exactly how old the trench drain is, he said it has to be more than 20 years old since it has been there ever since he started working at the airport.
A new more efficient trench drain system is currently being manufactured and will replace the old one, which will be dug out and removed. A concrete base will be installed first on which the trench drain will sit, Furlow said.
The new trench drain will be approximately 40 inches deep and 776 feet long. The first phase of the project will focus on the area near the terminal building. Phase 2 will encompass the trench drain located on the west apron.
“This will allow the apron to drain more efficiently, making it safer for aircraft and our maintenance staff,” Furlow said.
Construction is expected to begin in late spring to early summer and be completed in the fall, depending on weather, Furlow said.