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Last updated 12:34AM ET
December 16, 2017
KSUT Regional
KSUT Regional
Asphalt Shortage, Eagles Force Delay in $10M Project
(2008-07-23)
(ksut) - HOST LEAD: A shortage of asphalt is hitting close to home, forcing cancellation of a ten million dollar project at the Durango-LaPlata Airport.
KSUT's Victor Locke reports.

DENT: WELL THE EAGLES WERE AN ISSUE. WE HAD A NESTING PAIR OF EAGLES IN THE CONSTRUCTION AREA AND THAT PUT BACK THE PROJECT SOMEWHAT TO MAKE SURE THEY WERE SUCCESSFUL THIS SPRING.
VICTOR: Standing outside the Durango LaPlata Airport Terminal, manager Ron Dent says he hoped a new 12-hundred foot taxiway and repairs to a dip in the main runway would have been completed by now.
The 9.8-million dollar project is part of a 20-million dollar overall taxiway extension.
Dent's learned, however, their low bidder for the project can't get the asphalt needed, cancelling the project for another season.
DENT: IN THIS AREA, THE TYPE OF ASPHALT WE USE WHICH HAS A POLYMER MODIFIER, WE JUST CAN'T GET IT, AND APPARENTLY THE POLYMER IS MANUFACTURED IN EUROPE, TWO OF THE PLANTS THAT PRODUCE IT HAVE SHUT DOWN.
In addition, one of the major suppliers of the asphalt has filed for bankruptcy.
Dent says it will be rebid next spring.
DENT: THE GOOD NEWS IS MAYBE THE OIL PRICES ARE DROPPING A LITTLE BIT, AT LEAST WE'VE SEEN THAT IN THE LAST FEW DAYS.
That could reduce the price of the project.
Of course, prices could go up even more, raising the price above the money available in grants from the FAA.
And, those eagles?
Dent says after bids are taken next spring, work can't begin until, like this season, the eagles finish nesting, not that he's blaming them entirely for this year's problems.
DENT: THAT MAY HAVE CONTRIBUTED TO IT, IF WE HAD BEEN ABLE TO BID EARLY THIS SPRING AND DO THE PROJECT THIS SPRING THIS PROBABLY WOULDN'T HAVE HAPPENED BECAUSE THE ASPHALT WAS AVAILABLE THEN.
The project's delay won't stop planes from landing or taking off.
Dent says it means they will have to continue using the main runway for taxiing, somethng the FAA wants to end.
The asphalt shortage is also expected to hit area road projects.
CDOT officials said recently they may have to scale back or even delay some projects, because of the shortage.
From KSUT, Four Corners Public Radio, I'm Victor Locke.
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