February 08, 2001 Chicago Tribune

February 11, 2001

WHEELING -- The Wheeling Village Board and Prospect Heights City Council were expected to approve a contract to build a $4.3 million taxiway at Palwaukee Municipal Airport.

The Illinois Department of Transportation has recommended that the contract go to Plote Construction of Elgin, which submitted the lowest of three bids.

Wheeling and Prospect Heights jointly own the airfield.

The roughly 4,000-foot-long, 50-foot-wide taxiway would run parallel to the airport's runway and be used by aircraft in preparation for takeoff or after landing.

The taxiway is expected to improve safety and efficiency as well as reduce noise, because aircraft would wait less on the ground for incoming traffic to clear, airport manager Fred Stewart said.

Stewart said a parallel taxiway was one of the noise-abatement measures recommended in Palwaukee's Part 150 Noise Study completed in the late 1980s. A new Part 150 study is under way.

Stewart said work on the taxiway should begin in the spring and be completed by fall.

Meanwhile, airport officials are trying to secure federal funds for an estimated $7.5 million reconstruction of the runway. Stewart said Palwaukee has a $1.9 million commitment from the state and $340,000 of its own money for the project.

Palwaukee officials originally hoped to build the taxiway with wider shoulders and moveable edge lights so it could handle takeoffs and landings during runway reconstruction.