Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Airport Is on Target Commercial Project at Scott under Budget

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Airport Is on Target Commercial Project at Scott under Budget

Article excerpt

In an era of cost overruns, the price of the new commercial airport north of Scott Air Force Base has gone down slightly - to $307.5 million from $312 million.

What's more, the project is on schedule, according to Robert F. Coverdale, St. Clair County transportation director.

The new runway is taking shape as scrapers and bulldozers shift 2.5 million cubic yards of dirt. Commercial planes could be using it in three years.

Coverdale said about $17 million has been spent on the new airport so far, and $20 million worth of construction is under way.

The county has obtained 63 of 106 parcels of land needed for the project. It acquired 42 through sales contracts and 21 through condemnation.

Although 43 parcels have yet to be bought, "there is nothing that is going to hold us up getting the runway built," Coverdale said.

Most landowners, even those who opposed the project, have been cooperative, Coverdale added. "If they're going to be bought out, they want to be bought out now."

The 10,000-foot runway will be 6,500 feet northeast of the military runway and parallel to it. The runways will be connected by a taxiway across Silver Creek. That will allow the Air Force to use the commercial runway for backup in emergencies. The Air Force has already begun clearing land for its part of the taxiway.

The next big construction job will be relocation of a section of Illinois Route 4, south of Interstate 64. The Illinois Department of Transportation will open bids on Oct. 1.

Coverdale said nine other construction projects are in the design stage. They are expected to cost between $70 million and $80 million.

Among them are construction of taxiways, installation of utilities and building of passenger and cargo terminals.

One of the biggest jobs yet to be accomplished is relocation of Cardinal Creek Village, a 1,072-unit military residential complex at Scott, at a cost of about $90 million. Coverdale said the federal government will pay two-thirds of that, with the state and county sharing the balance.

The present Cardinal Creek Village, near Scott's northern boundary, would have ended up between the military and new commercial runways. …

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