Runway bulge from sewer line to be addressed

MONTROSE — On Tuesday, the Montrose City Council will hear a recommendation on the failed sewer line installation at Montrose Regional Airport.

The recommendation will come from the city’s Public Works department.

The city’s efforts to install a 36-inch sewer pipe underneath the airport’s largest runway was halted last month when a hydro-fracturing drilling technique caused a bulge in the runway’s asphalt.

Montrose Public Works Director Jim Hougnon said Thursday that “pretty good progress” had been made to determine solutions, and he hinted any fix would involve underground tunneling as opposed to cutting in the ground from the surface.

The section of pipe under the airport is part of a $4.3 million project to connect sewer services to future development areas north and east of the city.

Hougnon said he did not know how much repairs would cost, but Dan Quigley, an engineer for Buckhorn Geotech, told the council Tuesday the fix could reach $1 million.

Hougnon said finalized plans will be presented to the City Council at its 7 p.m. meeting Tuesday.

Any recommendation from the city will require approval by the Montrose County Commission.

Allen Kenitzer, a Federal Aviation Administration spokesman, said Thursday the agency will monitor the process and conduct a visual inspection of the pavement area in the near future.


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