George T. Lewis airport to receive face lift

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By Lou Elliott Jones

Travelers on County Road 470, better known as Southwest 166th Street, or the taxiway for the George T. Lewis Airport in Cedar Key, might just slow down and look for the new route the road will take in early 2013.

That's the word out of the Levy County Commission meeting on Tuesday morning where the board approved a consultant agreement with Passero Associates LLC of Jacksonville. For renovations and upgrades at the airport.

Under the agreement, Passero will begin construction in mid-February that will see the road — which has also served as a taxiway for the airport – be removed and shifted outside the airport boundary for traffic. A 4-foot high chain link fence will be installed on the perimieter of the airport to secure it so no one can drive onto the runway. 

The project is expected to cost about $136,000 and be finished by the beginning of June 2013. Money for the project is coming from a state grant from the Florida Department of Transportation.

But that won't be the end of the work at the airport, County Coordinator Fred Moody told the commission.

Moody said that in July, 2013 the state is expected to provide funds for a project that will see the runway repaved. “They will mill (grind) the entire runway to the base and rebuild it,” Moody said. Plans also call for providing a small building to accommodate pilots who bring planes in and out of the airport for their clients. He said the building will have a bathroom and a phone so the pilots can arrange  for transportation and accommodations in Cedar Key. 

Moody did not put a price on the project.