Runway, lighting system nearly completed

WHEELING – After four years of work, a $6.6 million project to extend the main runway and install a new runway lighting system is nearly complete at the Wheeling-Ohio County Airport.

During a regular Ohio County Commission meeting Tuesday, airport Manager Tom Tominack noted the Phase 3 portion of the project is complete. Afterward, he said just a few ”punch list” items remain on the final phase.

”The lights are on and the runway is being used,” Tominack said after the meeting.

The project involved filling in a large ravine with thousands of tons of dirt to allow for the runway safety area to first be extended. Per Federal Aviation Administration requirements, the runway safety area had to be extended 1,000 feet. The runway lights, which allow aircraft to safely land in inclement weather and at night, replaced an old lighting system. Cast & Baker of Canonsburg, Pa., was the main contractor for the work. As part of the new lighting system, a bridge of sorts also containing lights that is 196 feet tall and 400 feet long was erected at the end of the runway’s safety area.

In other matters, commissioners approved adopting a new mileage reimbursement rate for county employees and officials of 56.5 cents per mile. County Administrator Greg Stewart said the old rate was 55.5 cents per mile.

And a new business, Moss Farms Winery, 100 Harvest Ave., is opening in the county. Although the county does not have zoning restrictions, it still must send back a letter to the state Alcohol Beverage Control Commission stating that is the case when a new business is applying for a liquor license in an unincorporated area.

The next commission meeting is set for 6 p.m. Feb. 5 in Room 215 of the City-County Building, 1500 Chapline St.