Kicking off a highly anticipated, long awaited $2.9 million project that will extend water and sewer service to the Brookings Airport and surrounding properties, Contractor McLennan Excavation will begin preliminary work in the Parkview Drive and Dodge Avenue area on May 9.
This first phase of work includes a significant amount of earthwork and trenching which will require heavy equipment to be operating there throughout the summer. Construction hours will be limited to 7 a.m.–7 p.m. on weekdays and 8 a.m.–7 p.m. on weekends or holidays.
Utilizing over $1.7 million in grant funding awarded in 2012 by the US Economic Development Administration, this project will provide water and sewer services to both the airport and to the underserved residential properties located nearby.
“We have finally completed the many environmental studies and agency approvals required before starting construction, so now we are eager and ready to commence,” said City Manager Gary Milliman.
This project, which also includes construction of a 1/2 million gallon water storage tank, will spur economic development by providing infrastructure necessary to support light industry and/or airport-dependent development on the approximately 155 acres at and adjacent to the airport that were recently annexed into Brookings.
“We receive numerous requests from potential developers and small business owners looking to relocate,” said Milliman. “With this improvement, we will now be able to offer them shovel-ready development options.”
Mayor Ron Hedenskog added, “I think this project is vital to reversing the effects of the economic downturn and will have a prolific impact on Brookings’ future. I am very pleased it is getting underway.”
By extending utility service, this project will also enhance the disaster resiliency of the airport for use as a staging area and key transportation facility in the event of a high-level natural disaster.
Because the airport is located outside of the tsunami inundation zone, it would likely be the only transportation access to support response and recovery. It is designated as a regional staging area for the receipt of supplies and other resources in the event of need for disaster relief. Adequate water and sewer facilities at the airport are essential to sustain a disaster relief effort.
“Brookings Airport will provide a lifeline to the community during a major emergency when road systems serving Brookings and Curry County are obstructed,” Milliman said. “The addition of the 1/2 million gallon water tank also enhances fire protection and provides an additional reserve to sustain the water system if our source of supply is disrupted.”
“This project addresses such a broad array of issues including economic development and emergency preparedness,” said Hedenskog. “It is absolutely invaluable.”
The project is expected to be complete by January of 2017.