November 5th, during the regular meeting of the Hernando County Board of County Commissioners (BOCC), Kevin Daugherty, Hernando County Airport Manager, presented, among other items, the pre-application for funding of repairs to the main runway. The pre-application which covers two projects, the rehabilitation of runway 9-27 and the decoupling of runway 3-21. Runway 9-27 has deteriorated to a point requiring major rehabilitation. The BOCC was the final step in the review process of the pre-application.
Originally constructed in 1942, runway 9-27 serves as the primary runway for the Brooksville – Tampa Bay Regional Airport. Consisting of sections of eight inch concrete slab over top of sand and silt. The runway has fairly severe damage in several forms, cracks through the full depth, joint seal damage, and spalling; craters less than five feet in diameter; at the corners and joints.
This project will cover the design, plan preparation, bidding and award services, grant assistance, airspace analysis, construction safety preparation, and safety risk management phases. The demands placed on runway 9-27 are less than the runway was initially designed for, however it is more economical to resurface the entire width rather than relocating the lighting and signage and refilling/resodding the uncovered soil.
The second project within the pre-application is the decoupling of runway 3-21. Currently, runway 3-21 intersects runway 9-27’s safety area. This causes safety concerns for eastbound aircraft traffic on Taxiway ‘A’ . The planning phase for the decoupling was completed in 2019, including the demolition of the existing taxiway B1, construction of taxiway connectors B1 & C1, demolition and relocation of 815 feet of runway 3-21, relocation of runway threshold and centerline markings, and the relocation of associated lighting. Additionally, 3-21’s relocation will allow for the future extension of runway 9-27.
The pre-approval submission will have no financial impact. The preparation and construction projects will total to $3.6 million if funded in the next fiscal year, with 98% to be covered by FAA and FDOT grants. Specifically, $3.24 million (90%) would be covered by the FAA, and $288,000 (8%) would be covered by the FDOT leaving $72,000 to be covered by the airport.