Port commissioners OK airport apron expansion

The Port of Camas-Washougal is moving ahead with a project that will expand the apron at Grove Field. 

During their July 6 meeting, Port of Camas-Washougal commissioners approved a $200,462 contract with Washougal-based McDonald Excavating Inc., which will begin work in September.

The project will “widen the existing fueling apron/taxiway, including pavement and stormwater,” according to the contract.

“Just north of the fuel tank, we’re adding additional asphalt, so planes can pass each other on the taxiway, and realigning the fuel bin for the tanks to take away any safety concerns of where the planes are currently fueling in front of FlyIt Academy,” Port Chief Executive Officer David Ripp said during the meeting. 

Port leaders originally budgeted between $90,000 to $100,000 for the project and talked about delaying the project for one year to see if they could get a lower bid, but ultimately decided to accept McDonald Excavating’s proposal, the only one it received.

“Yes, it’s double the price, which hurts,” Port commissioner John Spencer said during the meeting. “But I qualify this as a safety issue. It needs to happen. Basically, FlyIt has been too darn successful, and there’s so much activity there at this point that we (have to act).”