The Searcy Airport Commission accepted a bid last week to seal cracks, but received no bids for drainage work.

The bid that was approved was for $19,560 from Custom Pavement Maintenance and Safety of Van Buren.

“Their number is a good number,” airport engineer Bob Chatman of Miller-Newell Engineers Inc. of Newport said. “They have done work here on the site before and it’s [the bid’s] lower than our budget, which will allow us to do additional work, seal more cracks.

“We have more cracks to seal. Apparently with the cold weather with the ice and snow, we have developed some more cracks and we will use the full budget with the better number.”

Chatman said since because there no bidders on the “drainage aspect,” it would readvertised. He said he also compiled a list of about eight potential bidders that ads would be sent to and would be called to see if they were interested in this portion of the work.

Concerning the drainage work, Commission Chairman Matt House asked Chatman how the moisture gets drawn out of the ground.

“We are going to put in what we call a trench drain to absorb the moisture and the water will flow through the rock and the trench and out to the drain on the eastern end of that property,” Chatman said. “On the south end of the runway, we will have a trench drain there. It will be a smaller drain, along the edge of the pavement that will draw the moisture out from the end of the pavement and that area to the edge of the pavement.

“That ground stays boggy as well and we will run pipes out to a ditch that runs parallel with the runway on the west side, about 250 foot or so out from the pavement. On the north end, we are going to have three trenches up there that run across that area, trying to pull that water out of there.”

There is a ditch coming off the adjacent property, according to Chatman, and workers will be building a berm to make the water stay in the ditch “and go on around, trying to keep some of the water off of it during a downpour.”

For the drainage contract, the budget, Chatman said, would be $127,300 with a little bit of contingency that could be added to it. “It’s a little bit bigger project.” The project for the cracks was budgeted at $48,000.

Commissioner Adam Hart asked Chatman if the commission was allowed to use all of the money that was budgeted, and Chatman said, “Yes, we are allowed to use all of it.” Hart responded, “So we can find some areas.”

“We’ve got the cracks,” airport Manager Roger Pearson said. “What we measured, since then we have developed more and more and some of them have gotten worse and will need to be cut out.”

The drainage work that is expected to start in August is being made possible by a 90/10 Arkansas Department of Aeronautics grant. The ADA pays 90 percent and the city picks up the remaining tab. The crack seal work is being made possible through an ADA 80/20 grant.

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