Contract awarded for airport runway extension

Published 7:04 am Wednesday, June 17, 2020

LANETT — Evergreen Erosion Control of Opelika was the low bidder for the next runway extension at the Lanett Municipal Airport and on Monday was awarded a contract by the city council to do a 1,000-foot extension, lengthening the present runway from 4,400 feet to 5,400 feet.

Evergreen entered a base bid of $4,984,823.24 and an alternate bid of $977,811.21. Evergreen did the first phase of the work as well.

“They have done an excellent job with what’s been done so far,” said Jordan Russell, an engineer for Goodwyn, Mills & Cawood, the project consultant. “We are excited about what’s been done so far. This project is 100 percent federally funded.”

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In addition to the new 5,400-foot runway, there will be a new taxiway that parallels the entire length of the landing area and a new 5,400-square-foot terminal which will include a large lobby area, a pilot’s lounge, flight planning room and offices for the Chambers County Development Authority (CCDA) and the city.

Mayor Kyle McCoy quoted Benjamin Franklin in reviewing the progress made by the city on several fronts, such as the airport, cleaning up the mill site and improving downtown.

“I had rather be told well done than well said,” he said. “We have been doing things that have been talked about for years in Lanett. I want to thank this council for working with me to get this done. We can do great things when we work together. We haven’t just talked the talk, we have walked the walk.”

Also at Monday’s meeting, McCoy declared this Friday, June 19 an official holiday in the city. This date is widely known as Juneteenth. It commemorates the date in 1865 when the black residents of Galveston, Texas were told that they were free. They were among the last African-American groups in the old Confederacy to be freed.

“We may be one of the first towns in Alabama to officially recognize Juneteenth as a city holiday,” McCoy said. “It’s a day that means so much to many people in our city, and we should officially recognize.”

In recent years, Juneteenth has been celebrated in the local area on the Saturday closest to June 19. For a number of years, it was on the grounds of Goodsell Methodist Church in Lanett and last year at West Point River Park. It has been a day that brought out food vendors along with arts and craft vendors and live entertainment on a stage.

There won’t be a community event this year due to the coronavirus, but it will be a city holiday.