Runway rehab in full swing at Yampa Valley Regional Airport in Hayden |

Runway rehab in full swing at Yampa Valley Regional Airport in Hayden

— Yampa Valley Regional Airport Director Kevin Booth told the Routt County Board of Commissioners this week crews working on the $16.6 million runway overlay project are on schedule despite recent wet weather.

“They are almost done with the asphalt milling (removal) using a diamond-toothed machine that takes a seven-foot swatch to a tolerance of within one-hundredth of an inch,” Booth said. “Right now, it’s at its busiest; they’re tearing up the south side of the runway, taking out old runway lights and putting new runway lights on the shoulders. What we are having trouble with right now is the runway’s shoulders. There’s an amazing amount of water under the runway. I didn’t realize how much groundwater there is.”

United Co., a paving company out of Grand Junction, has been chosen to do the work. Jviation, of Denver, is overseeing the design work and construction management. The Federal Aviation Administration is paying for $13.2 million of the project. The Colorado Department of Transportation is pitching in $1.9 million, and Routt County is paying $1.9 million.

Booth said crews were working six days a week but could add a seventh. As many as 80 people are working on the job at any given time.

“If we get weather like we expect, they will probably work on Sunday,” he said. “There’s no doubt we’ve got their attention as far as the importance of staying on schedule.”

The runway and the airport are expected to reopen at 7 a.m. June 15.

Revamping airport restaurant

In an unrelated matter, Booth said he expects to come to the commissioners May 11 to go over over ski season financials.

He said he had been able to glean constructive suggestions from local restaurant industry veterans about how to improve the financial performance of 3 Wire Bar & Grill, which has lost more than $500,000 the past two years combined.

Steamboat Ski & Resort Corp. Senior Vice President of Food and Beverage James Snyder and his executive chef visited the restaurant, as did Steamboat restaurateur Rex Brice, and both noticed the same thing. Going forward, Booth said, the airport will increase seating at the snack bar in the secure passenger holding area beyond TSA security screening.

“Seating at the snack bar will be much greater,” Booth told commissioners. “That’s where we make our money. They’re a captive audience. Everyone is anxious to get through screening, and then they’re trapped for an hour, or maybe their flight is delayed,” resulting in a revenue opportunity for the restaurant/bar business.

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