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Hope Airport receives federal maintenance grant

A 1996 aerial view of the Hope Airport.
Federal Aviation Administration
A 1996 aerial view of the Hope Airport.

The Hope Airport is getting a revamp, thanks to a grant from the Federal Aviation Administration. Senator Lisa Murkowski announced the grant last week — which will provide more than $270,000 to resurface the runway at the state-run airport.

“We call this, really, a preventive maintenance surface preservation project,” Kirk Warren, the Department of Transportation’s chief of maintenance and operations for the central region of Alaska, said.

He oversees maintenance of the Hope Airport, and said the job has already been contracted to an Anchor Point-based contractor, Alaska Marine Excavation.

Warren said DOT keeps an eye on increasing maintenance costs at state-run airports. He said at the Hope Airport, some parts of the runway are getting soft, and the edges are breaking down. DOT is trying to make the costs of maintaining the runway less expensive down the road by completing this project now.

“That runway has always been safe, but we’ve noticed over continuous years of maintaining that runway, that it gets more expensive to maintain a runway as the surface begins to break down,” Warren said.

He said the contractor is going to place a new crushed rock surface on the runway, not pave it.

The project is set to be completed by Sept. 30 of next year. Warren said the contractor may begin work on the runway this fall, but more likely will get most of the work done next summer, depending on its workload.

The federal grant will cover the entire cost of the project.

Riley Board is a Report For America reporter covering rural communities on the central Kenai Peninsula for KDLL.
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