August 9, 2018 10:42:03 AM
The Columbus-Lowndes Airport has been awarded a piece of the $1.44 million multi-modal grant from the Mississippi Department of Transportation for $84,272.
The grant will be used for projects regarding transportation updates and improvements among Mississippi's Northern Transportation District. The Columbus City Council and Lowndes County Board of Supervisors, who split the airport 50-50, approved a 1-percent match to the grant, totaling $421.86 each, while the grant handles the remaining 99 percent.
Columbus Chief Operations Officer David Armstrong and Lowndes County Administrator Ralph Billingsley both confirmed to the Dispatch that the grant will be used for new tie-downs for the planes.
"Some of them are loose," Armstrong said. "They are not safe for the planes."
Zach Foster, an engineer with Neel-Schaffer and the project manager for the project, said updates for the North and South Apron Tie Down Replacement project have been needed for several years.
"(The necessity for the updates) predates my time," Foster said. "Currently there are parallel steel cable tie-downs on the south side of the apron. They're going to move and replace those with a new tie-down and create new parking spots for the planes."
The airport applied for the grant in April, but construction is not set to begin until next year.
"We don't have a contractor but as soon as we get all that, we hope to open bids by the end of the year and start construction by the beginning of 2019," Foster said.
More than $73,000 of the grant was also awarded to the Golden Triangle Regional Airport for a project to renovate the rental car facility, Executive Director Mike Hainsey confirmed to The Dispatch.
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