DARLINGTON COUNTY, S.C. (WMBF) – The Darlington County Airport has reopened after work was done on the runway.
Barry Kennett, airport manager for Darlington County, said the airport reopened Dec. 18 with a ribbon cutting after 90 days of work.
According to Kennett, crews put a seven-inch concrete overlay on the runway.
That new layer, he said, milled a certain portion down to a certain depth and then the seven inches of concrete was added.
The engineers believes the airport will get over 30 years with this surface as opposed to the 20-year lifespan of asphalt, Kennett said. He added the $4.1 million price tag is $1 million more than what asphalt would have cost, but thinks the extra cost is worth it when it comes to maintenance.
According to Kennett, the project was funded with a grant from the Federal Aviation Administration.
The airport, he said, currently handles large business jets. With an improved runway, Kennett said they can accommodate more passengers and a greater fuel weight.
According to Kennett, the last time a runway overlay was complete was around the mid- to late-80s. In addition, new LED lighting was added to the runway and half of the taxiways, he said.
The second phase of airport maintenance work will include LED lighting for all taxiways, Kennett said.
“We’re looking forward to be able to finish that, hopefully within the next three years,” he said.
The second phase will require another grant for funding, according to Kennett. Hopes are to have that money by the 2022 fiscal year.