It’s official — the expansion and reconstruction of
Hartford Airport runway won’t happen until at least
state Bureau of Aeronautics told city officials it
completed its environmental assessment of the project
and the issue is back in the hands of the city’s
consulting engineers at Mead and Hunt.
not so fast.
“The state advised Mead and Hunt it required additional
archaeological field work on the four properties to be
acquired as part of the project,” said City
Administrator Gary Koppelberger. The request for the
field work was made Thursday and the work needed to be
completed by Friday. “After a scramble to find contact
information for the four property owners and the
securing of permission to enter their properties to do
additional digging, everything was arranged.”
Three property owners are opposed to the sale of their
Wisconsin Bureau of Aeronautics indicates the project
won’t be undertaken until 2018, he said.
“Assuming that’s true, the project will have passed the
10-year mark,” Koppelberger said. “We have now surpassed
the length of time it took to win World War II, and I
note with unease that we are approaching the timeline
for completion of the Panama Canal.”
City officials hoped to have the project completed
before the U.S. Open Golf Tournament will be played at
Erin Hills in the summer of 2017.
Airport Development Engineer Matt Malicki said the
archaeological tests were rushed.
wanted to get the testing done before the weather
turned,” Malicki said. “If we hadn’t done the testing
last week we might not have been completed until the
spring which would have delayed the entire project.”
old lighting system is one concern.
“We’ve advised the state that the endless delays
plaguing this simple project have resulted in a
deteriorating runway,” Koppelberger said. Koppelberger
said that since the project was proposed, the federal
government doubled the city’s share to pay for it.
Malicki said the archeological study was completed
Friday, but he does not know if artifacts were found
during the dig.
Reach reporter Joe VanDeLaarschot at