This blog reports events and interesting tidbits from Rensselaer, Indiana and the surrounding area.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Airport plans

Friday afternoon I stopped by the Jasper County Airport to see what construction was going on. (See here, here, here, here, and here for previous posts.) I followed a truck south on Airport Road that had a load of culverts. The driver stopped near the highway and got directions, and then drove up the taxiway where the truck was unloaded. The culverts will go under the taxiway connectors that connect the taxiway to the main runway. They replace old steel culverts.
The big paving machine was gone, and there was not nearly the construction activity that had been there earlier in the week.

I stopped in the main building and found a person to talk to. I asked about the plans for an east-west runway, which is shown on the picture posted in the office. (If you click on it, you can get a better view. The green is the proposed runway. The existing runway is perpendicular to it.)
He said that this runway is not part of the current construction. There are a number of steps that have to be taken before construction can begin. I think he said that the archeological survey had been completed, but not the environmental impact survey. No land has been purchased yet. So it will be several years at least before this project is done. If you look at the map, you will notice that this runway requires a re-routing of airport road. I asked why they could not have the runway begin at the current runway and then go east, since the next road (850 W) is a mile and a half away. He said the crossing runways was required by the FAA. They like runways in that configuration.

Below is the legend on the map. (Sorry about the glare. Again, click for a better view. For a really good view, go out to the airport.)
I also learned what the big X at the end of the runway meant. It is a sign to pilots that the runway is closed. There is a similar X at the other end. That would be an important message.
The airport, however, is not closed. The taxiway is big enough to land small planes, so there have been takeoffs and landings.

With the improvement to the runway, the airport will be able to handle planes that weigh 30,000 pounds. The old runway could handle 12,500 pounds.

Some other tidbits from the discussion. The frontage north of SR 114 is zoned commercial. Some people would like to make a highway bypass of Rensselaer, taking trucks from 114, moving them north to an improved 400S, and then bringing them back to SR 114 east of Rensselaer. (That would reduce the annoying traffic of garbage trucks through town.)

(I hope I got everything right. I did not write down anything and am relying on my memory. If you catch any mistakes, feel free to correct them in the comments.)


reMark said...

Amen to the trash bypass. That would totally change the feel for Rensselaer's traffic flow.

reMark said...

Also, it looks like with this arrangement of the relocation of airport road, it may add a bit more hill to the country route along the CRC country route. Interesting. . . . Thanks Dessert Survivor!

Sheila said...

Glad you looked at this closer, initial worry was that it would mess up our country route.