Airport improvements underway in Jacksboro
Construction is underway at the Jacksboro Municipal Airport to repair the facility’s asphalt pavement.
The pavement improvements are possible through $362,400 of funding approved through the Texas Department of Transportation’s Aviation Facilities Grant Program.
The City of Jacksboro has to kick in 10 percent matching on the project or about $36,000 to improve the runway, taxiway and apron.
City workers began milling the pavement and performing a complete reconstruction in early October. The state sought bids for an inch and half of hot mix to be laid over the reclamation of the runway. The project should be complete by early December.
“The state was just going to do a slurry seal because they weren’t going to give us enough money to do a full reclamation,” said City Manager Mike Smith. “We were able to keep the entire project within the $363,000 because we could do the project cheaper by doing the milling ourselves.”
The airport has 20 hangars six of which are leased currently. Smith said he is uncertain exactly how much use the airport gets but believes it is a fair amount.
“We have hunters that fly in, people fly in to see the fort,” he said. “We have business people come when oil is booming. There’s a crop duster stationed out there.”
With tough budgeting decisions made for the 2017-2018 fiscal year, Smith said it was either take advantage of what TxDOT was offering or let the airport fall to ruin.
“It’s an asset. You’re either going to let it go or keep it up,” he said. “Our portion was $30,000 to keep a $2 million facility.”
In addition to the pavement, there will also be improvements made to the windsock and the beacon. The city is also painting a segmented circle which is a visual indicator of traffic patterns for airports without a control tower.
“We’ll work with TxDOT on a future project to redo the runway lights but that’s not included in this particular grant,” Smith added. “We do have one individual that is interested in building some additional hangars at some time but we’d have to work out a contract with him and we’re not quite there yet.”
City workers are stabilizing the taxiway this week with plans to do the same for the runway next week.