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Sat, Dec. 07

Construction closes airport

Due to current construction underway at Williams airport, it will be closed to all air traffic through November.

Dennis Dalbeck, city manager, said construction began Sept. 11 and anticipates the runway will reopen by Nov. 13.

He pinpointed Dec. 23 as a tentative completion date for this entire phase of construction amounting to $2,790,912, primarily funded by grants. Grant sources include the Federal Aviation Administration and Arizona Department of Transportation Aeronautical Division.

On July 31, Williams City Council awarded a base bid of $2,789,912 to Combs Construction of Glendale to cover additional improvements at the airport including runway widening from 75 to 100 feet, safety area enhancements, taxiway guidance signs, wildlife fencing, runway strengthening, connector taxiway and improving the line of sight.

Dalbeck said the hump of rock mass under the runway, which impeded line of sight for small aircraft, has already been blasted and is the process of being removed.

"This is one of several phases of improvements to H.A. Clark Memorial Field," Dalbeck said. "In the past a combination of ADOT and FAA grants have widened the runway from 50 to 75 feet, have constructed a water tank for fire abatement, built a 3,100 square-foot terminal and funded an automated weather observation system.

"The current contract (with Combs) includes a three-inch asphalt overlay on the entire runway," he said.

Combs Construction is also general contractor for street improvements on Grand Canyon Boulevard and Fulton Avenue.

Management plan

Although Peter Suarez ap-proached Williams City Council with a plan to manage the entire airport and build as many as 20 hangars there, Dalbeck said he has not yet received any written proposal for the project.

Suarez, with residences in Scottsdale and Flagstaff, broached his plan to the Williams Airport Committee prior to pitching it to city council at an Aug. 31 work session. Ken Edes, Williams mayor, asked Suarez to submit a written general overview of the project to city staff by Sept. 8.

The management plan entailed a 99-year lease on the entire airport. Suarez said he was ready to break ground on a hangar to house pre- and post-production work on film and TV projects, which could be uplinked via satellite to other locations.

Dalbeck said he has not received any form of communication from Suarez to date.

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