Today, the offices of Senator Shelley Moore Capito and Senator Joe Manchin announced that the City of Morgantown will receive $7,777,778 million through the Federal Aviation Administration Airport Improvement Program for the runway extension project at the Morgantown Municipal Airport.
“We are extremely grateful for the assistance of Senator Capito and Manchin in securing these funds,” said Morgantown City Manger Paul Brake. “This project is extremely important for the economic development of the city and once it’s completed its impact will be felt across the region.”
The federal funds will be used to cover expenses for the first phase of the project, which is slated to begin in the fall of 2020. It is anticipated that the $7 million will be used towards:
- All clearing and grubbing for site prep;
- Erosion and sedimentation controls;
- Temporary stormwater management features;
- Embankment toe bench;
- Culverts for the stream enclosures;
- The start of the embankment; and
- Design and construction management for the first construction package.
In November 2019, the city received concurrence from the Federal Aviation Administration on its Environmental Assessment and Benefit Cost Analysis. This was the final step before construction could begin on the project.
“We’ve had some major movement on this project in the past six months,” said Morgantown Municipal Airport Director Jon Vrabel. “I hope and expect that momentum to continue. It’s really rewarding to see something of this magnitude finally begin to take shape.”
The next step in the Runway Extension project is to post a bid announcement for the construction phase. The bid announcement is expected to be released this summer.
The Runway Extension project is closely tied to the future I-68 Commerce Park. When completed, the two projects will be the most significant economic development projects in the history of the city, and it will be an important economic driver for the region. The Runway Extension project has received support from local businesses, the Monongalia County Commission, Star City, the City of Westover, West Virginia University and the Morgantown Area Partnership, all of which have been instrumental in moving the project forward.
The current length of the runway is 5,199 feet, making it the shortest runway for commercial carrier airports in the state. The extension will add 1,001 feet to the runway and will enhance and modernize the airport’s facilities to help it maintain current operations, recruit new businesses and improve safety at the airport.
The Runway Extension Project is estimated to take at least five years to complete at an estimated cost of $50 million. It is anticipated that a majority of the funding for the design and construction of the project will come from the FAA Airport Improvement Program. The remaining cost will be funded by the City of Morgantown and the State of West Virginia. The $7,777,778 million in AIP funding announced today requires no local match.