The city of Davenport has been awarded a nearly $3.7 million grant to rebuild a runway at the Davenport Municipal Airport.
U.S. Rep. Dave Loebsack, D-Iowa, who announced the award of the grant, said Friday that it will improve safety, increase efficiency and boost usage of the airport.
The runway is badly in need of repairs, city officials say. The pavement dates to 1947 and is well past its 50-year lifespan, according to city documents.
The project's price tag is estimated at $6.4 million, with the city having budgeted $660,000 for the project in fiscal years 2012 and 2013. The federal government will pick up 90 percent of the cost, city documents state.
The work, which will begin this fall, will take a year to complete, Public Works Director Mike Clarke said.
It also will entail halting any incoming and outgoing flights while work is done at the intersection of the airport's two runways.
"We figure it's going to take a month to rework that intersection," he said.
Clarke did not know exactly when that will be done. He said Carver Aero, the fixed-base operator at the airport, will be consulted. But he said the city will seek to minimize the disruption by tailoring the contract to require that work be done around the clock and that bonuses be paid for meeting certain targets.
A public hearing on the project has been scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Tuesday at City Hall, 226 W. 4th St.
The reconstruction is not related to the airport's planned extension of another runway. An application has been filed with the Federal Aviation Administration to get federal money for the project, but that has not yet been acted upon.
The city had not planned for the extension until 2017, although it would like to begin land acquisition in the coming year.