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Contact: NORMAN BASSETT, 240-313-2077

Hagerstown-Washington County Economic Development Commission

For Immediate Release:

Construction to begin on Runway Program at Hagerstown Regional Airport

Local Contractor Lands Bid for Package One

(Hagerstown, MD March 16, 2004) -- The Board of County Commissioners of Washington County Maryland announced today that C.W. Hetzer, Inc. of Hagerstown Maryland is the successful bidder of the first of four packages that comprise Hagerstown Regional Airport’s Runway Improvement Program.  Hetzer’s bid was $17,429,655, which was $600,000 lower than the engineer’s estimate. Work is expected to begin within 45 days.

The Airport’s Runway Improvement Program, which is estimated at $60 million, has been described as the biggest civil engineering project to occur in Washington County in decades.  As such, it is expected to have a dramatic and positive impact on the local economy, in particular the construction sectors. 

The Runway Improvement Program has been four years in the making and has been documented in several required planning reports.  These include a Feasibility Study, an Environmental Assessment and Benefit/Cost Analysis.  Construction is scheduled to start in April and continue to the end of 2007.

The first construction package will include the majority of grading required for the project.  Over one and a half million cubic yards of fill will be utilized from an existing stockpile at the County’s “40 West” Landfill.  Use of this material will not only provide a cost-effective source of required fill, but will also solve the Landfill’s need to remove this material.

The genesis of the Airport’s Runway Improvement Program is a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) mandate requiring Part 139 airports to have 1,000-foot safety area at each end of designated runways by 2007. With the concurrence of federal, state and County agencies, runway lengthening was included as part of the Program.  The outcome will be a compliant airport infrastructure and a more suitable runway length for today’s aerospace standards.  Presently the airport’s main runway is 5,461 feet.  At the conclusion of this Program, Runway 09-27 will measure 7,000 usable feet.

According to state studies, Hagerstown Regional Airport contributes approximately $48 million annually to the local economy, is the catalyst for some 500 jobs and supports dozens of local businesses. Hagerstown regional Airport has operated with out interruption since 1928 making it one of the oldest continually operating airports in the country.

Additional information about the Runway Improvement Program is available at Hagerstown Regional Airport’s web site www.FlyHagerstown.com or by calling (240) 313-2777.


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