SAGINAW COUNTY (WJRT) - (06/12/18) - A multi-million dollar paving project is scheduled at MBS International Airport in Saginaw County's Tittabawassee Township.
Fourth District Congressman John Moolenaar, a Republican from Midland, recently announced MBS had earned a $3.5 million federal grant to help with the project.
The Airport Commission is expected to approve bids for the project next week, allowing Airport Manager Jeff Nagel and his team to apply for additional grant money to complete the project. A small portion of the $8.5 million project will be paid for by the state and Airport Commission.
"We're going to rehabilitate the main runway, all new pavement on top, and all new lights, and some work in our electrical vault as well," Nagel said.
While the runway is checked every day for wear and tear, the upcoming work will be more substantial.
"There's a lot of things to consider including the aircraft that uses it, the intersection, the safety areas, all the new standards from the FAA. So it's quite involved," Nagel said. "It's asphalt pavement, but it's different mix and different design than a roadway, and a lot more goes into rehabilitating a runway than a road."
The runway is where roughly 125,000 people begin their vacation or business trip each year.
From travel to employment and beyond, the airport brings in at least $100 million in economic activity to the region, so keeping the runway in top shape is a top priority.
"It's actually the biggest paving project we've done here in the last, I'd say, 15 to 20 years," Nagel said.
Nagel expects the 8,000 foot main runway to be closed for three months during paving, but a second 6,400 foot runway will remain open.
"MBS is fortunate because our secondary runway is plenty long enough and wide enough to accommodate all the traffic we have in here," Nagel said.
Electrical work will begin this year, with the paving project is scheduled for next spring.
The airport is owned by Bay County, as well as the cities of Midland and Saginaw.