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Runway project gets green light from Trail council

A $4.2 million rehab of the YZZ runway is scheduled to begin in September
The Trail Regional Airport runway, seen through Tuesday’s smoky haze, will get a $4 million makeover thanks to a federal grant.

City council has paved the way for a $4.15 million project to begin at the Trail Regional Airport (YZZ) next month.

During the Monday governance meeting, Mayor Mike Martin says council gave staff the go-ahead to provide a letter of intent to Interoute Construction - known locally as Selkirk Paving - which then allows the city to undertake final negotiations and conditions before signing a contract.

Selkirk Paving (Interoute Construction, the parent company) provided the only bid for the multi-million Airport Pavement Rehabilitation Project, Martin confirmed.

“Council is very pleased with the bid submitted by Interroute as it was within the budget and achieved all of the necessary requirements,” Martin told the Trail Times.

“The key component being that the runway will remain open for all scheduled flights.”

The project is expected to commence in September with a scheduled substantial completion by Oct. 31.

The city received word in late spring, that the YZZ project was successful in application for $4.6 million in federal grant dollars through “ACAP,” the Airport Capital Assistance Program.

Funding must be directed into re-surfacing the current runway, not an extension.

However, Martin said the city received late word from Transport Canada that the necessary widening of the taxiway, a leg of work that amounts to $58,000, can be included in the overall grant allocation.

Until recently, Trail council had planned to include the taxiway budget in its 2018 capital plan.

The Trail airport project was one of 34 submissions approved by the Government of Canada program this year, as part of $41.7 million for new safety-related improvements in airports.

Design work has been underway for month, so actual construction can begin on schedule in September.

“The city continued to pursue the ACAP grant since the purchase of the airport from the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary in 2014,” city hall stated in it’s ACAP announcement.

“The YZZ Airside Pavement Rehabilitation Project will result in YZZ being one of the first airports in the country to be fully compliant with Transport Canada’s most recent airport regulations.”

Since Trail took ownership of the airport for $1.28 million, respective investments have exceeded $10 million, though more than half was paid through various grant programs.

“We are most appreciative of the tremendous support we received from elected federal representatives in advancing our application,” said Martin. “This major funding commitment recognizes the importance of YZZ providing reliable, convenient, affordable and safe air access into the Lower Columbia Region in support of residential, business, tourism and medical needs.”

Coun. Kevin Jolly, chair of the Airport Steering Committee, stated,”This significant investment by the federal government will improve air access for the Lower Columbia Region,” he added.

“It also demonstrates our long-term revitalization transportation strategy for the area is sustainable as this project will occur at the same time as the construction of YZZ’s new terminal.”

Sheri Regnier

About the Author: Sheri Regnier

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