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.