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Harrisburg International Airport gets $20.2 million grant for levee work

By Dan Miller

danmiller@pressandjournal.com

717-944-4628
Posted 5/17/19

Harrisburg International Airport is getting a $20.2 million grant to repair and rehabilitate the airport levee along the Susquehanna River.

The project will improve drainage by rehabilitating …

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Harrisburg International Airport gets $20.2 million grant for levee work

Posted

Harrisburg International Airport is getting a $20.2 million grant to repair and rehabilitate the airport levee along the Susquehanna River.

The project will improve drainage by rehabilitating 13,025 feet of the levee system, HIA said in a press release Thursday. It was built in 1958 and only minor maintenance and repair work has been done since. Erosion, vegetative growth, ice jams, storms and other natural forces have reduced the levee’s ability to protect the airport from flooding from the Susquehanna River.

The two-year project, expected to start next spring, will not enhance the levee by making it higher, and it will not add stormwater capacity to the airport, HIA Executive Director Tim Edwards told the Press & Journal. The project will ensure that the levee works as intended.

“I don’t think we are going to be better protected” from river flooding “other than the levee which protects the airport will be rehabilitated to the point where it is new again,” Edwards said. “It will be serving its purpose at its maximum capacity.”

The project will clear vegetation, fill animal burrows, restore the levee cross section, reconstruct the levee toe and install an Articulating Concrete Block mat system to protect the levee face from future erosion.

The project might replace some of the levee floodgates that may have become deficient, he said.

The $20.2 million grant is part of the Airport Improvement Program, which is funded by the Aviation Trust Fund. Money comes from taxes on aviation-related activity, including on ticket sales and fuel purchases, Edwards said.

HIA to receive the grant must put up a local match equal to 5 percent of the $20.2 million — about $1 million, Edwards said.

The local match will come from money HIA gets from the state.