Smoother landings ahead in Franklinton

Published 9:10 am Monday, June 23, 2014

Work has begun on a rehabilitation project at the Franklinton Municipal Airport.

The project involves placing a surface treatment, or seal coat, on the existing pavement of the runway, taxi lane and apron areas, project manager Jonathan Farmer of KSA Alliance said.

The contractor for the project, Pavement Maintenance Unlimited of Pass Christian, Miss., began work Wednesday on sealing of the cracks currently in the pavement.

Farmer said that phase of the work wrapped up this week, and crews plan to return next week to complete the surface treatment.

The materials supplier for that sealcoat is Asphalt System’s Inc., which specializes in the manufacture of Gilsonite modified emulsions, producing a product with the trade name GSB-88.

Company representative John Hunter said the product provides a longwearing anti-oxidative seal.

“GSB-88 also helps to rebind the surface and, thereby, mitigate raveling issues,” he said. “It dries to an absolute black color, which beautifies the pavement surface and provides tangible cosmetic benefit.”

Also, Hunter said GSB-88 is considered the “greenest” product of its kind in the industry and has been awarded an Environmental Product Declaration and a GreenCircle Certification.

Once the sealer has cured, the contractor will re-mark the pavement in the areas of the runway, taxi lane and apron.

The airport runway will be closed for the project’s duration, Farmer said.

This project aims to protect and preserve the pavement infrastructure, something that will help the airport avoid more expensive full reconstruction projects later on, he said.

The approximately $119,000 project is being funded 100 percent through a grant from the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development, Division of Aviation. In addition, a smaller grant of about $15,000 allowed the town to complete maintenance of existing electrical equipment at the airport.

That work, which involved installation of new airport lighting, was completed Wednesday, according to Mayor Wayne Fleming.