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Wheeling-Ohio County Airport Runway To Be Updated

WHEELING – Construction work is set for the secondary runway at the Wheeling-Ohio County Airport, and it will be 75-feet narrower when the project is complete.

Ohio County commissioners Randy Wharton and Don Nickerson discussed the project when they met by phone Tuesday night. Commission President Tim McCormick was not present.

The design fee of the project is projected to cost $559,006, with the Federal Aviation Administration picking up 90 percent of the cost, County Administrator Greg Stewart told the commissioners.

Heather Leopardi, project manager with Jacobs Engineering, detailed the project during the meeting.

Runway 1634 is the secondary runway at the airport, and the smaller of the two runways, she said. It currently is 4,500 feet long, and 150 feet wide.

Aircraft that use the runway do not need one that is that wide, and the FAA had indicated it will not fund any future repairs to the outer 75 feet of the runway, Leopardi explained. The proposed project will cut it in half to 75 feet.

The project also will include the moving of lighting and the remarking of the runway, she said.

Commissioners also approved the purchase of an x-ray scanner for the City-County Building. It will cost $18,975, and will be purchased from Astrophysics.

The Ohio County Sheriff’s Department also is obtaining gas masks through JAG grant funding it received earlier this year. Dana Safety Supply of Tampa was the low bidder at $18,046.

County Emergency Management Agency Director Lou Vargo addressed the commissioners regarding issues with medical staffing and available beds at Wheeling Hospital. As many as 70 employees at the hospital have tested positive for COVID 19 in recent days.

As Wheeling Hospital has been converting its 6th floor to accommodate more COVID-19 patients, many patients are being referred to WVU-Reynolds Memorial Hospital — which is presently at 40 percent capacity, according to Vargo.

The commissioners will next meet at 6 p.m. on Dec. 15.

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