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Local airports will get more than $3.8 in Rebuild Illinois funds

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Passengers prepare to board a Cape Air flight (copy)

Passengers prepare to board a Cape Air flight in 2019 at Veterans Airport of Southern Illinois.

Six local airports will receive more than $3,827,982 in funding from the 2021 Rebuild Illinois Airport Capital Improvement Program.

Airports were awarded 90 percent of their project costs and will have to pay the remaining 10 percent with local funds.

The local projects include:

Cairo Regional Airport received $72,000 to acquire snow removal equipment and a mowing tractor and $237,033 to replace all lighting at the airport.

Southern Illinois Airport, between Carbondale and Murphysboro, received $252,000 to replace Fox Farm Road and $751,500 to expand the southeast aircraft parking apron.

Mount Vernon Outland Airport received $918,000 to rehabilitate the automobile parking lot, entrance road, and aircraft apron access points.

Pinckneyville Airport received $90,000 for snow removal equipment.

Sparta Community Airport/Hunter Field received $450,000 to rehabilitate the automobile parking lot, improve drainage and install security fencing.

Veterans Airport of Southern Illinois in Marion received $332,183 to rehabilitate the east airport access road and sidewalk and $725,266 to extend the fixed base operator access road.

Doug Kimmel, director of Veterans Airport of Southern Illinois, said both of their projects are roadway projects. They will repair the existing eastern roadway, which was built in the mid-1980s to 1990.

“The roadway runs through our business park which includes 14 buildings with 20 businesses and more than 200 employees,” Kimmel said. “A lot of employees use the roadways for walking and jogging. We wanted to put in a sidewalk and keep everyone safe.”

Their second project will extend the fixed base operator access road on the west side of the airport. Kimmel said the road will give better access routes to their control tower and pilot activity area, as well as airport maintenance employees.

Kimmel explained that the road the provided access on the west side of the airport was closed when Illinois 13 was built. This new road will reclaim that access. He said they will also improve the sidewalks in that area.

The east roadway will be done in 2022, with the west improvements scheduled for 2023.

“To be able to have finances from Rebuild Illinois is so important. It would have been a number of years to get this done,” Kimmel said.

He added that every project that received funding falls outside of federal funding that airports use.

Chris Collins, director of Mount Vernon Outland Airport, said they will rehabilitate then automobile parking lot, entrance roads to the airport and airport access apron points.

He said asphalt will be laid on the parking lot, four feeder roads and Fireball Road, which is the west entrance to the airport, then curbs will be added.

Collins also said this would not have been possible without Rebuild Illinois funding.

“What could have cost 100 percent of local funding, now costs 10 percent of local funding. We are thrilled,” Collins said.

The total cost of the project is $1,020,000. The airport will be responsible for $102,000.

The savings will help the airport undertake other programs in 2022, Collins added.

These airports were among nearly 100 airports who received funding through the 2021 Rebuild Illinois Airport Capital Improvement Program.

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