Klamath Falls Runway Repairs Under Scrutiny

, Written by Lyle Ahrens, Posted: Mon, May 13 2013 at 4:31 PM, Updated: Mon, May 13 2013 at 4:42 PM

The main runway at the Klamath Falls Airport is being watched very closely this spring...Airport officials hope the spring thaw has only minimal impact on recent runway repairs.

Airport Operations Manager Bill Hancock notes that rocks began popping out of the surface of the runway during the spring thaw of 2010, only a few months after a 22 million dollar runway replacement project was completed in 2009...

"There was significant damage that we were observing."

Faced with an 11 million dollar lawsuit from the city, the contractor re-surfaced the entire length of the runway in 2012...and so far, Hancock notes the repairs look like they're holding up nicely...

"The contractor came back in, and milled off the first 2 1/2, to 3 inches of the surface, put new material down, and it's held up very, very well."

While some initial wear and tear is expected, Klamath Falls Airport Director John Longley notes that the runway is inspected daily.  "We monitor very closely, every day, what pavement condition is."

"So it has been getting a lot of scrutiny."  Adds Hancock.

Longley adds:  "We don't have the pop-outs that we did in the past." 

Airport officials say that while those pop-outs never posed an immediate safety problem, the loose rocks could have caused serious damage is sucked into tn F-15 jet engine.

The new runway surface has an expected service life of about 18 to 20 years. The main runway at the Klamath Falls Airport extends over 10,000 feet, making it the second longest runway in Oregon.

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About the Author

Lyle Ahrens

KOTI-TV NBC2 reporter Lyle Ahrens moved from Nebraska to Klamath Falls in the late 1970's.  He instantly fell in love with the mountains, the trees and the rivers, and never once regretted the move.

Lyle's job history is quite colorful.  He’s managed a pizza parlor; he’s been a bartender, and a “kiwifruit grader” at an organic orchard in New Zealand.  A Klamath Falls radio station hired Lyle in the mid 90's as a news writer and commercial producer.  In 2004, Lyle joined the KOTI/KOBI news operation.

Lyle notes with pride that he has a big responsibility presenting the Klamath Basin to a wide and varied audience.  "The on-going water crisis has underscored the fact that the people and the issues in the Klamath Basin are every bit as diverse as the terrain.  Winning and keeping the trust of the viewers, as well as the newsmakers, is something I strive for with each story".

When he's not busy reporting the news, Lyle enjoys astronomy, playing guitar, fixing old radios and listening to anything by Sheryl Crow.

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