By Hal Dardick
Special to the Tribune
July 28, 2000

The primary runway at Aurora Municipal Airport could be rebuilt by Nov. 30 under a plan recommended this week by the Aurora City Council Finance Committee.

The city would pay nearly 6 percent of the project's estimated $5.6 million cost.

The federal government would pick up more than 89 percent of the cost, and the state would pay about 5 percent.

Under a similar cost-sharing arrangement, the three government agencies paid $300,500 to draw up plans to rebuild the runway.

If the construction deal is authorizedby all the government agencies as expected, work would start Aug. 15, said airport director Robert Rieser.

While the primary, 6,500-foot east-west runway is being rebuilt, aircraft will use a 5,500-foot northwest-southeast runway, completed last fall at a cost of $5.4 million.

The primary runway was built in stages starting in 1959. It was widened in 1983, the last major overhaul for most of the strip, and lengthened by 1,500 feet in 1992 to accommodate corporate jets.

"Parts of the runway are 40 years old," Rieser said. "It's a total reconstruction, not a rehabilitation."

The runway will be ground up, and the resulting material will be laid back down and covered with 9 inches of new concrete