Three Projects Underway at Airport
By Tom Embrey
Crews are busy around the Moore County Airport these days as they work on three projects out at the facility, said new airport manager Steve Borden.
Two of the jobs are related to Federal Aviation Administration safety issues, and a third is a landscaping project initiated by the state Department of Transportation and being done in cooperation with Progress Energy.
"These projects are going on nearly simultaneously and are going to be very visible," Borden said.
Work crews began clearing 5.4 acres owned by Sandhills Community College and located near the small traffic circle off Airport Road and N.C. 22. The trees on that site are interfering with the airport's clear zones and must be removed to comply with FAA safety regulations, Borden said.
The trees will be cut, and the stumps will be removed and replaced with other grasses and plants to create a green space, Borden said.
Early Monday morning, power to the area was cut temporarily when a tree fell on power lines.
One of the trees on the property has an abandoned red cockaded woodpecker nest in it, Borden said.
"It has been abandoned and inhabited by a nest of bees," Borden said, "We are working with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife to remove the tree."
A portion of that tree with the nest intact will be turned over to U.S. Fish and Wildlife officials, Borden said.
Other work entails grading and leveling that is being done on airport property in preparation for the work to be done on the displacement threshold on runway 23.
This work is being on airport property along Hardee Lane. When completed, the runway's takeoff area will be lengthened per FAA requirements.
The work, when completed, will not affect landing patterns, Borden said.
"The landing thresholds and the approach/clear zones don't move," he said.
The landscaping project is occurring on Aviation Drive. There, about 70 crape myrtle trees have been removed. The trees will be replaced by street lights and native grasses and longleaf pines, Borden said.
The trees were planted in 2008. The irrigation system that waters the trees will remain intact and will serve the new landscaping, Borden said.
The new landscaping will include zoysia grass, which is expected to stabilize the area and help correct some issues with pooling water.
Progress Energy is installing street lights. All the landscaping work is being done at no cost to the airport
The trees were taken out this past weekend and have been donated to the village of Whispering Pines.
Whispering Pines Village Manager Sue Shuster said the village has received more than 70 of the crape myrtles. She said some of the trees have already been planted near the community building, and the rest will be planted in random places throughout the village.
Shuster said one of the places that will be considered for the relocated trees is along Hardee Drive at the border of airport property. The trees would not be planted until work on the airport property is completed, she said.
Contact Tom Embrey at (910) 693-2484 or email@example.com.
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