The U.S. Department of Transportation has awarded an additional $14,874,994 in federal funds to Westchester County for use in repaving the main runway at the Westchester County Airport.
U.S. Rep. Nita Lowey announced the funding and promised to use her position as chair of the House Appropriations Committee to continue “working to protect and improve critical transportation infrastructure across our country and in the Lower Hudson Valley to ensure safety and grow our economy.”
The funds are in addition to a $4 million award that was announced in May.
When the Westchester County Board of Legislators voted at its March 11 meeting to issue $10 million in county bonds for the Runway 16/34 repaving project and making other improvements, the project’s cost was estimated at $21.7 million. At that time, the portion to be funded by the federal government was said to be $11.7 million.
A county spokesperson told the Business Journal that the additional federal funding means the portion of the project’s cost that will have to be covered by the county will be reduced. He also noted that the cost of repayment of any bonds floated for the project would come from airport revenues, not from taxpayers.
In addition to repaving 4,857 feet of the 6,549-foot by 150-foot runway, planned updates include the installation of replacement identifier lights, the reconstruction of the existing taxiway lighting system, and the replacement of supplemental wind cones and precision approach path indicators that help pilots achieve the proper descent angle when landing.
A schedule outlining the four phases of the project obtained by the Business Journal showed that the work will occur overnight from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m., beginning Aug. 19. There is a voluntary curfew on flights into and out of the airport between the hours of midnight and 6:30 a.m., so the runway closing during the overnight hours is not anticipated to have extensive impacts on operations. The first phase is scheduled to end on Nov. 23, with additional phases taking place periodically thereafter. The entire job is expected to be completed by Oct. 10, 2020.
County Executive George Latimer expressed gratitude to Lowey for obtaining the new funding. “The repaving of the runway is needed as four thousand-plus feet of runway continues to age. Our priority is safety and making sure that the airport facilities are always in top working order. This work will also bring many good paying jobs to Westchester,” he said.