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Reader question: What is the status of the improvement project at Mansfield Lahm Regional Airport? Wasn’t it approved by City Council several months ago?

MANSFIELD — A $6.9 million improvement project at Mansfield Lahm Regional Airport — with 90 percent of it paid for by the Federal Aviation Administration — will likely begin in April.

Airport Operations Supervisor Mike Moore on Monday said the asphalt work to rehabilitate Apron “A” and selected taxiways and taxilanes will be done in three phases of about 45 days each, taking four to five months total.

City Council approved the work in May, but is scheduled to vote Tuesday evening to clear up the finances for the project.

The FAA is contributing $6,173,701 (90 percent) while the city will pay $385,029 and the Ohio Department of Transportation $343,983 to cover the remaining 10 percent.

Moore, in his third year at the airport, said the improvements will replace paving on the “overflow” apron and the taxiways/taxilanes to nearby hangers — pavement that is largely 40 years old.

Airport improvement

“It will attract more people because for the next 20 years, this pavement is going to be great,” Moore said. “It becomes a selling point rather than a detraction.”

He said hanger space is at a premium for airports in the area.

“I believe Ashland has a waiting list for hanger space … Delaware … Wadsworth, you know, so it’s all surrounding us. It’s coming here,” Moore said.

Airport taxilane

The “overflow” apron is also crucial going into the future, he said, pointing to aprons north of the terminal that fill up during larger community events, such as races at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.

“Hence the name ‘overflow,'” he said. “If we have cargo or any other corporate traffic, they have to have somewhere to go. This (improvement) will allow for that,” he said.

The project is in keeping with other recent federally-funded improvements at Mansfield Lahm, including ramp reconstructions and rehabilitations in 2021.

Airport taxi patches

“Basically, every year we look to try to apply for something (from the FAA),” Moore said. “The design for the (upcoming) project was paid for in last year’s grant.”

He said hanger owners will have to make provisions during the 45-day work construction phases that impact their sites.

“We do have tiedowns out front on the terminal apron, so we have some options,” Moore said. “It’s going to be some growing pains, but I think the long-term improvement will be worth the 45-day investment.”

Shelly & Sands has received the contract to do the airport paving improving project.

City editor. 30-year plus journalist. Husband. Father of 3 grown sons and also a proud grandpa. Prior military journalist in U.S. Navy, Ohio Air National Guard. -- Favorite quote: "Where were you when...

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