The Humboldt County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved an improvement project for the Redwood Coast-Humboldt County Airport. The project was expedited due to concerns that federal funds could be retracted. The approval comes amidst negotiations in Washington D.C. regarding the debt limit and the potential clawback of previously allocated funds, including the CARES Act dollars. The project, estimated at $4.5 million, will be funded by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the CARES Act funds, with no impact on the county’s General Plan.
Expedited Approval Due to Funding Concerns
The approval of the Redwood Coast-Humboldt County Airport improvement project was expedited out of fear that federal funds might be reclaimed. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) officials notified the county of a new deadline, over a year in advance of the original deadline, to commit the funds and prevent any potential clawback. The negotiation discussions in Washington, D.C. prompted the expedited timeline, requiring the project to be presented to the supervisors sooner than anticipated.
Project Details and Enhancements
The improvement project will encompass various enhancements at the airport. These include replacing parking lot pay booths with electronic payment options, repairing damaged asphalt, ensuring compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), installing new pole locations, and adding up to 50 electric vehicle charging stations. The project aims to improve parking facilities and accessibility to the Redwood Coast-Humboldt County Airport.
No Impact on Roadways
Concerns were raised about the project’s impact on the surrounding roadways. However, the aviation director assured the supervisors that the project would only affect the exit from the parking lot and not the adjacent road. This clarification addresses concerns about potential disruptions to transportation routes and ensures a smooth flow of traffic to and from the airport.
Preparation and Closure Period
The airport will host a pre-bid meeting to discuss project details with potential bidders. Additionally, the airport is scheduled to close temporarily from August 14 to August 25 for electrical and runway improvements. This closure period allows the necessary work to be completed efficiently and ensures the safety of passengers and aircraft during the construction phase.
The Humboldt County Board of Supervisors expressed gratitude to county staff for their efforts in meeting the tight timelines and addressing ADA requirements. The approved improvement project aims to enhance the Redwood Coast-Humboldt County Airport’s facilities and accessibility, serving the needs of Humboldt County residents and visitors alike.
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