Huntingburg Airport expansion project awarded federal funding

The Dubois County Airport Authority will finally be able to begin work on a runway extension project that has been planned for several years.

The Department of Transportation announced on Wednesday that the regional airport located south of Huntingburg will receive a $5.97 million grant to begin work on the first phase of the project. A local match from the airport authority as well as additional matching funds from the state will bring the total amount up to $7 million.

The airport authority opened bids on the project in July and awarded the contract for the work to Weddle Brothers Construction of Evansville. Work for the first phase includes lowering County Road 200 West — which is east of the runway — to create an overpass for the runway extension; moving 270,000 cubic yards of dirt to the end of the existing runway to raise the elevation and to reconstruct about 700 feet of the existing runway; utility relocation; and drainage.

Weddle Brothers will likely begin work on the project sometime in the fall of this year.

Phase 2 of the project is expected to begin next year and will include widening the existing runway and completing the extension.

The airport has been exploring an expansion of the runway since at least 2011 and after several iterations for completing the project, decided to add about 500 feet to the existing runway. The additional length will allow the airport to accommodate larger planes and larger payloads for existing clients.

A report completed by the Indiana Department of Transportation estimated the local economic impact of Dubois County’s regional airport to be about $522 million annually.