Methow Valley State Airport’s pavement is 22 years old. Later this month, Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) Aviation begins a $5 million project to replace and rehabilitate the pavement to maintain this crucial infrastructure.
The airport will be closed to the public on May 14 to allow Wenatchee general contractor, Selland Construction, to start the project. Methow Valley State Airport in Winthrop is the largest of 16 WSDOT-managed airports, serving commercial aircraft that weigh up to 30,000 pounds.
The runway is tentatively scheduled to reopen at the end of June to avoid interfering with the expected fire season operations of the United States Forest Service (USFS), conducted by North Cascades Smokejumper Base (NCSB). The NCSB is prepared to operate out of alternate airports as necessary until construction is completed.
Construction costs are split between the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) Airport Improvement Program (AIP) and WSDOT Aviation. The FAA is supporting 90 percent and WSDOT Aviation is supporting 10 percent of the total cost.
WSDOT Aviation will issue an airport closure and Notice to Airmen (NOTAM), but will keep the airport’s Automated Weather Observing Station (AWOS) operational.
Three main phases for this pavement rehabilitation project include:
Phase 1 – Rehabilitate runway 13/31 pavement: Remove existing aged runway pavement, install new stormwater drainage system, new asphalt pavement, and sub-grade improvements for the entire 5,049-foot runway.
Phase 2 – West connector taxiway rehabilitation and widening: Remove an existing forest service non-standard taxiway connector, modify the west side transient ramp taxiway connector to meet current FAA design standards, and taxiway lighting modifications followed by new pavement.
Phase 3 – West apron rehabilitation: Rehabilitate the west side transient parking ramp through additional sub-grade and pavement overlay upgrades.
Phase 1 and Phase 2 are scheduled to be completed within the first 45 days. Once Phase 2 is completed, WSDOT Aviation will open the runway for public use with west side transient ramp access restrictions.
A fourth phase to expand the west general aviation aircraft parking apron to the south will be advertised in 2018 for construction in spring/summer 2019.