After nearly one year and over $2 million dollars in cost, the joint 1,000 feet runway expansion project at the Eastland Municipal Airport by the City of Eastland and TxDOT is now complete. And both want to celebrate this milestone with a public grand re-opening and ribbon cutting on August 14.
The project officially began in September of 2009 with the actual moving of dirt, but technically started several years prior with the research and planning by the City of Eastland, TxDOT Aviation and the Eastland Economic Development.
A grant was secured with the city only having to match 5% which was covered by the EEDI and after negotiating property purchases dirt started flying by winning contractor Jay Mills of Stephenville in September 2009. Originally predicted at 150 days of construction the project was scheduled for completion in February, but due to the wet winter and spring, the project slowed, but finally made completion this summer.
“With the expansion of our runway to 5,001 feet, we hope to see an increase in aircraft traffic as well as aircraft size,” said Ron Holliday Eastland City Manager. “Granted we don’t expect to see a 747 drop in, but we currently have two jet aircraft based at our airport, and would like to see more,” he added.
According to aircraft owners and pilots, the expansion will not only allow larger planes in and out of the Eastland airport, but will assist those here, and any that might come here in helping with insurance requirements.
“We’re really excited this project is completed, and want to invite everyone to come out on Saturday, August 14 at 10 a.m. for a ribbon cutting,” said Bode Zietz, airport manager. “The Eastland Chapter 956 of the Experimental Aircraft Association will be serving up hot dogs, hamburgers and cold drinks at 11 a.m. and you might see an airplane or two,” he added.
For more information on the Eastland Municipal Airport, contact Zietz at 254-629-1588.