WILLIAMSTOWN - The Mid-Ohio Valley Regional Airport will soon say goodbye to a long-term project.
The Runway Area Safety Project is expcted to be completed through Rifenberg Construction after years of litte to no work, said airport manager Terry Moore.
"This project was supposed to last a maximum of two years and started in the summer of 2006," Moore said. "We just passed the six-year mark and it is still on-going."
The project includes the creation of a 500-foot safety area on either end of the runway along with light towers to extend the visual of the runway by 2,400 feet.
The safety project was mandated by the Federal Aviation Administration with West Virgina being the first state having completed those at the state's federally obligated airports.
Why the project took more than three times its expected construction length is anyone's guess, Moore said.
"We don't know exactly what happened, but the contractor Mountaineer Grading cut back on work a while ago with as few as three workers on site before they just stopped working last summer," Moore said. "The reasons are not important, just that the work is completed."
The airport went into lawyer-to-lawyer discussions with Mountaineer Grading's bonding company Travelers Insurance and it was decided the company was in default since it hadn't been at the site since August 2011.
"We aren't pointing fingers now, we just look forward to finishing this project," Moore said.
When the company left, the project was about 95 percent completed with certain navigational aids, including the light towers and electric to run them, not working.
Through the agreement with Travlers Insurance that the construction company is liable for the incomplete job, the company agreed to pay a certain amount of money to complete the work.
Rifenber won the project bid in May and began work this summer while the airport remains in discussions with the FAA to relet the grants given in 2006 to pay for the project.
"There are now four different monetary sources for this project," Moore said. "The airport, the state, federal and Travelers."
Moore said not only did the delays in construction cost the airport time and frustrations, but pilots have complained about not having lights on one end of the runway along with the funding issues.
"This was originally a $12 million job and we are trying to get an extra $1.4 million to cover the overage costs," he said. "In the past five years the cost of materials has gone higher than originally expected."