Joe P. Asher
Construction on the new runway lighting system at the Tucker Guthrie Memorial Airport is getting ready to begin. Members of the Harlan County Airport Board and representatives from PDC Consultants met with the contractor for a pre-construction conference on Thursday.
Shawn Davis of Five D Enterprises, the firm that has been awarded the contract to install the lighting system, was on hand to answer questions concerning the actual construction project.
Davis advised that installation of the lights themselves could not start until around January.
Harlan County Airport Board Chairman Mark Miracle asked if it would be possible to begin work sooner.
“If he wanted to go ahead and do the trenching and wiring, I don’t have a problem with that,” said Miracle. “It’s just that much more ahead you’ll be.”
“I agree with that, it’s just not the way they set these things up,” said Davis. “I’d have to take a look at what I can do. I’m open to it, I just don’t want it to come back to sting me.”
Davis explained there can complications caused by starting before all materials arrive.
“Until you have the light fixture, you don’t really have a place to start and stop the wire.” said Davis. “It’s kind of non-conventional.”
Davis noted that it would be beneficial to go ahead and get some work started as soon as possible, but was cautious of the 45 calender day limit that the contract places on the work.
“Paperwork and contract aside, it makes good sense to make use of the good weather and get as much done as we can. That’s a fact. That makes sense to me. But I don’t want to get stuck between what the paperwork says and what makes sense. Because these days what makes sense and what the papers say diverge, and I don’t want to get stuck in the middle,” said Davis.
“Is there a chance to have the lights any sooner?” asked Miracle.
“No,” answered Davis. “The lights that are specified are only available from one company and they’re custom made. Plus, they’re swamped. There’s a big demand.”
According to Paul Steely of PDC Consultants, if the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) approves the construction firm may be given more time to complete the work so trenching and excavation could begin as early as November.
Reach Joe P. Asher at 606-573-4510 or firstname.lastname@example.org