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Improvements await Alexandria Airport

Projects would renovate seaplane base and reconstruct main runway.

Airport_080316_5784.jpg
The Alexandria Airport brought in 5,442 visitors to the city in 2020. (File photo)
Alexandria Echo Press file photo

ALEXANDRIA — At its Monday, March 28 meeting, the Alexandria City Council authorized Airport Manager Kreg Anderson to get quotes on how much it would cost to renovate the airport’s seaplane base.

The base, located by Lake Winona, is in bad shape, Anderson said. At some point in past decades, an asphalt ramp was created that runs down to the lake and includes a floating dock.

“Over the years, the asphalt has eroded, sunk in, and crumbled away, leaving it in a shape that is barely safe for vehicles,” Anderson said in a memo to the council. “The dock is rusted out and questionable at best.”

Kreg Anderson
Kreg Anderson

The project involves demolishing the pavement, installing a new L-shaped floating dock and installing new pavement.

The city has $30,000 available to use for the project through a one-time allocation through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, or CARES Act. Any cost over that will come out of the airport development fund. Revenue in that fund comes though hangar rents and other leases at the airport.

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Anderson noted there has been a resurgence of floatplanes based at the airport, and since Alexandria is a "premier lakes vacation destination," it makes sense to have a full-fledged seaplane base at the airport. Right now, six airplanes at the airport are using the seaplane base, according to Anderson.

If approved, the seaplane base would be indicated on all aeronautical maps, airport directories and facility directories for pilots to see when planning their flights, Anderson said.

If all goes well, the project could be completed this May, he said.

Another project at the airport is to reconstruct runway 13-21, the main runway at the airport.

The council authorized TKDA, the city’s airport consultants, to submit a design grant application to the Federal Aviation Administration and the state.If approved, the city will be responsible for 5% of the estimated $311,000 in design costs. The city’s share of the money will come from the airport development fund.

In addition to reconstructing the runway, the project would replace airfield electrical systems, runway safety area grading, and removing obstructions.

The existing runway’s pavement and electrical systems have reached the end of their service life and need to be replaced, according to TKDA.

ALP Utilities receives good bid

In one other item not included in other coverage of the meeting, the council accepted a construction bid of $953,908, the lowest of five submitted, to put more ALP Utilities electrical lines underground.

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The bid, submitted by Castrejon Inc. of Blaine, came in under the estimated amount of $1.1 million.

ALP Utilities board of directors also approved the bid as part of its “undergrounding” project.

The areas included in the project are the west circuit mainline, which includes Douglas, Cedar and Bryant Street from Fourth to 17th Avenue; and the 3M mainline, which includes 18th Avenue to 22nd Avenue, and Nokomis to Jefferson Street.

Al Edenloff is the editor of the twice-weekly Echo Press. He started his journalism career when he was in 10th grade, writing football and basketball stories for the Parkers Prairie Independent.
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