Mandan News

Mandan Airport work to take more time

The Mandan Airport Authority on Monday allowed contractor Northern Improvement an extension on completing its part of a $6.1 million runway renovation project, but the board has not ruled out docking the company for missing its deadline.

The airport project was supposed to be completed this week, according Mandan Airport Manager Jim Lawler. Under contract, Northern Improvement was scheduled to complete rebuilding the runway a month after the entire airport was shut down on Sept. 4. By that schedule, the runway should be completed on Friday. “They did not allow them exemption for liquidated damages,” he said on Tuesday.

Since April, the paved runway has been shut down to the single engine and light twin engine planes. On Sept. 4. the grass runway was also shut down, meaning no business for the airport since Lawler said the contractor has indicated it will be able to complete the work by Oct. 28.

Lawler did not specify how much the company might be docked, but said the airport authority would weigh how much effort is made to complete the project faster.

“They want it done as soon as possible,” Lawler said. “It’s up to the board to decide.”

A Northern Improvement official said Tuesday rains in April, June, mid-summer and September caused six weeks of delays over the construction period.
“We’re progressing along very well, but the weather has not been cooperating. There have been several rain events,” said Brad Ballweber, vice president and treasurer of Northern Improvement. “It all adds up to slowing up the project.”

An extension of 30 days has been granted to the contractor for work on the new runway at the Mandan Airport. A wet summer caused work delays in completing the 4,400 foot long concrete runway at the airport south of Mandan. Photo by Tom Stromme, Lee News

An extension of 30 days has been granted to the contractor for work on the new runway at the Mandan Airport. A wet summer caused work delays in completing the 4,400 foot long concrete runway at the airport south of Mandan. Photo by Tom Stromme, Lee News

He said the company has been working six days a week and more to make up for lost time. “We’re doing everything we can to get it done in a timely manner,” Ballweber said. “By the end of the week, we’ll have the concrete poured and a majority of the work will be done.”

In the project, the entire 4,400-foot-long paved runway is being replaced along with the old lighting system. It’s been 35 years since the work was done.

The Mandan Airport serves 15,000 smaller planes per year.
Federal funds will pay for 90 percent of the project. City and state funds will pay for the rest.

By LeAnn Eckroth, Lee News