Tulip Airport Lands Major Grant

    HOLLAND — A $5.55 million state grant puts another piece of the funding package in place for a major runway expansion at Holland’s Tulip City Airport.

    The grant, awarded last week from the Michigan Aeronautics Commission, will go toward relocating Washington Avenue, which runs along the airport’s western border, as well as construction of an 800-foot tunnel to divert the roadway beneath the runway, Assistant City Manager Greg Robinson said.

    More importantly, the grant assures that the $15 million project to extend Tulip City Airport’s northeast-southwest runway from 5,000 feet to 6,000 feet will stay on schedule, Robinson said. The city, now in the design phase and planning to bid out the project this winter, wants to begin construction next spring and have the extended runway operational in late 2003.

    “This is critical to the project moving forward,” Robinson said.

    The project will enable Tulip City to comply with federal safety-zone standards and better serve corporations that use the airport, which recorded more than 50,000 take offs and landings in 2000.

    Federal and state funding sources will cover 95 percent of the project’s cost. The city will cover the remaining 5 percent, with a good portion of that match coming through contributions from local corporations that use the airport.

    The grant was one of 12 totaling $24 million that the Aeronautics Commission awarded for airport improvements statewide.           

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