Lake in the Hills Airport improvements begin in May

Work will begin in late spring on improvements to Lake in the Hills Airport involving construction of an aircraft fueling area and a new fueling facility, officials said Thursday.

Gov. Pat Quinn's office announced Thursday a $664,000 investment in the project - part of Quinn's agenda to create jobs. Stenstrom Excavation & Blacktop, Inc. of Rockford, the lowest of three bidders, was awarded the contract for $664,383.

It's an important safety improvement for the McHenry County airport, which logs roughly 34,000 takeoffs/landings yearly, said Fred Mullard, Lake in the Hills airport manager.

The Illinois Department of Transportation's Division of Aeronautics will manage the project, which is 90 percent funded through federal dollars, with the state and the village splitting the remainder of the cost. State funds for the project come from Quinn's $31 billion Illinois Jobs Now program.

The village already has paid the state its portion of the cost through airport revenues, Mullard said.

"The existing fueling facility is too close to the runway," he said. "This also allows us to bring things up to current standards."

The existing fuel facility - consisting of two above ground tanks used to store aviation fuel for piston-powered aircraft and jet fuel for turbine aircraft - is about 130 feet from the edge of the 50-foot wide runway. The new facility will be about 400 feet from the edge, Mullard said.

The upgrades also will allow the airport to add self-serve fueling stations, which will lower costs to pilots, Mullard said.

Construction will begin in May and take eight weeks to complete, Mullard said.

"Investments in airports like this one in Lake in the Hills make them safer and more efficient," Quinn said in a news release. "The project will also employ a number of construction workers, which will drive local economy forward."

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