County gets $4.5M grant for finishing Griffiss runway repaving

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Griffiss International Airport is getting a federal grant of nearly $4.5 million for the final phase of resurfacing its massive 11,000-foot-long runway in Rome, according to an announcement on Thursday by Rep. Anthony J. Brindisi, D-22, Utica.

The runway, at 11,820 feet long one of the longest in the Northeast, is being resurfaced in three phases, officials said. The first phase began in the spring of 2019. The $4.5M grant announced Thursday will go toward the final phase of the resurfacing project.

The work includes breaking the existing top layer of concrete into rubble then using it as a base for the new asphalt surface, as well as related work on aprons and lights, officials said.

The entire project is estimated to cost about $21 million, with 90% paid through the federal Airport Improvement Program.

Oneida County is paying about 5% of the resurfacing costs and using state funds to cover the remaining 5%.

The airport was originally built as an Air Force base, which was decommissioned and closed in 1995 in a round of post-Cold War shut downs of military installations, then turned over to Oneida County.

It’s operated as a general aviation airport for private air craft and some military training flights, and as a testing grounds for drones.

“Keeping Griffiss Airport up to date will ensure Rome and Oneida County can continue to play an important role in our national defense and help strengthen our region’s economy,” Brindisi said. “I will keep working with all levels of government to deliver for Upstate New York.”

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