Easterwood Runway Upgrades Underway

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Runway upgrade work started early Monday morning at Easterwood Airport.

The project is being funded by a $2.7 million Federal Aviation Administration grant.

"This is a rehabilitation to our main, number one runway," John Happ, director of aviation for the facility owned and operated by Texas A&M University said. "The last time we had any type of rehabilitation work done was almost 10 years ago."

Construction crews will be removing 2 1/2 inches of asphalt off of the runway and putting a new layer down.

"We're doing this so that it's got a lot of cohesiveness and there is no break up of that asphalt," Happ said. "That's not good for jet engines when you have small pieces of asphalt, so we keep the runway pretty smooth all the time."

According to airport officials, airline passengers should be unaffected except for a curtailment of flights during darkness Dec. 2-4.
Happ said the period from late November to mid December was selected for the construction work because it would have the least adverse impact on travelers and other users of the airport.
Construction personnel will work around the clock to ensure the project is completed in the shortest possible time.

The facility will be closed from 5 p.m. until 6 a.m. Saturday and Sunday nights as a safety precaution, because the alternate runway that will be used during that period does not have lights.

Easterwood's second runway will be used throughout the Nov. 27-Dec. 15 period in which the main runway is being upgraded.

Happ said the construction schedule is "extremely susceptible" to weather and may have to be adjusted.

He urges travelers using Easterwood during the period in which the work is planned, to pay close attention to airline schedules, as they may change.