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Santa Monica Airport Construction Project to Begin This Month
By Jorge Casuso
June 11, 2019 -- Starting this month, Santa Monica Airport will be closed intermittently as the City embarks on a $3.2 million project to convert both ends of the runway, which was shortened a year and a half ago.
The project -- which begins June 16 and ends September 6 -- will remove and pulverize the excess pavement and hydroseed the 14-acre area, Airport officials said.
"The Airport will be closed to all aircraft operations during the days and hours that construction will take place," said Airport Director Stelios Makrides.
"During construction, community members should expect noise that will be generated from the construction site," he said.
To minimize the impacts, the City will work with the contractor "to conduct daily noise monitoring to ensure that the construction complies with the local ordinance," Makrides said.
The City’s contractor, Sully-Miller Construction, will perform the work in five phases.
From June 16 through July 5, construction will take place place from 9 p.m. to 7 a.m. daily, except on July 4.
It will resume at midnight on July 8 and continue non-stop through July 11.
From July 14 through August 2, construction will take place from 9 p.m. to 7 a.m. daily, then resume on midnight August 5 nonstop through August 8.
The final phase -- from August 11 through September 6 -- will take place from 9 p.m. to 7 a.m. daily.
The Council approved the contract, as well as a $216,761 contract with CivilSource for management and inspection services, at its meeting April 2 ("City to Remove Excess Pavement from Santa Monica Airport Runway," April 4, 2019).
Under the contract, Sully-Miller will spray "plant seeds, finely ground water-soluble fertilizer, and a stabilization mixture" over the area "to ensure that the seeds stick to the surface," staff wrote in its report.
Opponents of the project, mostly pilots and their representatives, say it is a waste of taxpayer money.
They also warn the gravel could be needed to extend the runway in the event an emergency requires larger aircraft carrying equipment to land.
The City reduced the runway in December 2017 from almost 5,000 feet to about 3,500 feet to ward off large jets ("Santa Monica Airport Starts Ten-Day Closure to Aircraft for Runway Shortening," December 15, 2017).
Since then, jet aircraft operations have nosedived by 81 percent ("Jet Departures at Santa Monica Airport Took Nosedive in 2018," January 11, 2019).
The project was part of an agreement with the FAA that will shut down the century-old airport at the end of 2028 ("City, FAA Agree to Close Santa Monica Airport in 2028," January 28, 2017).
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