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Springfield-Branson National Airport to Close Temporarily this Month

The Springfield-Branson National Airport will close for a 72-hour window Friday, August 12 through Monday, August 15th.  This will mark the first time since 1972 the airport will close for an extended period of time.  KSMU’s Justin Lux went out to the airport and has more.

 [Stand-up]

On a day like today the Springfield-Branson National Airport is filled with people, along with their luggage, trying to make their way to their destinations.  However, in a few days this place will become empty due to some construction on the runway.

“What’s going to happen for three days in the middle of August is we’re going to have to close both runways when the work reaches the intersection of the two runways.”

 Kent Boyd is a spokesperson for the airport.  He says workers will only be repaving one of the runways, but when the construction gets to within 250 feet of where the two runways intersect, the airport will have to shutdown both for safety purposes.

 Boyd says the repairs didn’t come as a complete shock.

“Oh we’ve known for years that it was going to be a necessity. You end up over time having to repave a runway depending on whether you’re using asphalt or concrete every 20 or about every 30 years,” he explains.

 As Boyd explains, this runway was no different.

“The runway that we’re repaving was repaved with asphalt and there were sections out there where you could go along the edge of the runway and you could see cracks and if you drilled into it it just crumbled,” says Boyd.

 IronMountain Construction Services out of Maryland Heights, Missouri has the contract to resurface the runway. The company submitted a bid of $7.25 million. To ensure the project is completed as promised, the airport has provided some extra incentive.

“In the unlikely event that the contractor takes more than 72 hours to get the work done at the intersection he’s going to pay a penalty.  $4,000 an hour for every hour beyond 72 hours that the airport remains closed,” he says.

 Boyd says the airport expects to cancel between 75 and 80 flights during the three days, which will cost the airport roughly $100,000.

 That number does not take into account the revenue lost from the restaurant at the airport, the rental car agencies and other services.

 For KSMU News, I’m Justin Lux.