by Marissa Lorenz
Kremmling’s McElroy Airport runway will be closed for an anticipated 45 days from Monday, August 3, to Thursday, September 17, for asphalt rehabilitation and lighting improvements.
Federal grant monies have been accepted by the Grand County Board of County Commissioners for the project, and a contract has been awarded to United Companies of Grand Junction
in the amount of $2,642,558.
After several months of anticipation, Grand County Airport Supervisor Josh Schroeder states that he’s very pleased to be able to move forward with the runway rehab. He explains, “The project will consist of milling of the existing asphalt and replacing with new asphalt along the entire length of the runway as well as the taxi areas on the east and west ends of the runway. The new asphalt overlay could give us up to 15 years of additional life on the runway.
It also includes a complete replacement of the entire lighting system around the runway. Every fixture will be replaced with an
LED upgrade, which will reduce both our power consumption and maintenance costs.”
Assistant County Manager Ed Moyers emphasizes that the project is being funded entirely by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Normally, the FAA funds 90% of approved airport improvement projects, asking for a 5% state match and 5% local government match. However, the 2020 Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act set aside additional funding for airports as a critical component of the country’s transportation infrastructure.
Notice of the closure will be issued to airmen nationwide and regular air traffic will have to utilize other facilities during that time. Granby’s Emily Warner Field and Steamboat will likely be used for smaller craft. Eagle/Vail Valley Airport or Hayden Airport are the best regional alternatives for larger aircraft.
Schroeder assures that the airfield “will remain open for helicopter operations for emergency services, such as wildfire or EMS.”