Officials: Runway extension set for completion by late September

CNJ staff photo: Liliana Castillo A 1,800 foot expansion of the runway at the Clovis Municipal Airport is underway and will be completed by late September or early October.

Kevin Wilson

An extension of the runway at the Clovis Municipal Airport should be completed by late September or early October, according to city officials and spokespeople for the project.

The runway will be extended 1,800 feet to the northeast, bringing the total space to 7,200 feet and allowing small commercial jets.

The lack of rain has meant clear days for workers, but the rub is that dryness makes the job more difficult.

“Mainly, they’re having trouble maintaining their compaction because of the dryness of the soil,” Airport Director Steve Summers said.

Dumas Slade, a manager at WH Pacific of Albuquerque, which is handling engineering of the project, said there are some weather issues, but nothing that would delay the project’s completion at this point.

“We are approximately 60 percent complete with the earthwork,” Slade said, referring to cutting, filling and grading for substructure underneath the pavement. “We should have earthwork wrapped up, hopefully, at the end of this month.

“The next phase, we have some base layers to construct and start the concrete operations, which we’ll probably start in the middle of June.”

Construction is by David Montoya Construction, also of Albuquerque.

The expansion is funded from a $4 million appropriation from the U.S. Department of Transportation and $2.5 million from the state. Summers said the city will provide a match of 2.5 percent of the money.

The airport currently offers 12-round trip flights to and from Albuquerque via Great Lakes Airlines — two every weekday and one each on Saturday and Sunday.

Once the runway is complete, the city could start negotiating for service to Dallas and Fort Worth — which the Air Force is looking for with the expansion of its mission at Cannon Air Force Base.