Martha’s Vineyard Airport gets $10 million runway grant

Martha's Vineyard Airport is planning to buy a new fire truck. - Gabrielle Mannino

Martha’s Vineyard Airport has received a $10 million grant that will be used to rebuild its runway, Ann Richart, airport manager, said.

The $10 million grant was issued by the U.S. Department of Transportation, and covers 90 percent of the cost, Richart said. The total project cost is $11.4 million, and construction is scheduled to begin prior to the 2019 summer season.

Additional funds will come from a 5 percent match by the Massachusetts Department of Transportation, and the remainder from airport revenues, Richart told The Times.

“The Airport Commission has worked hard to foster a relationship with the FAA that allows us to work together to improve the Martha’s Vineyard Airport,” Bob Rosenbaum, chairman of the Martha’s Vineyard Airport Commission, said in a prepared statement.

Funds will be used for noted runway 6-24, which will be constructed by Lawrence-Lynch Corp. of Falmouth. The design and construction management was done by McFarland Johnson, Inc. of Concord, N.H., the release states. It is the only runway on the Island capable of accommodating commercial airline traffic, and has exceeded its 20-year life design.

The release included a statement from U.S. Sen. Edward Markey, as well. “Martha’s Vineyard is a world-class destination, and it deserves an airport of world-class distinction,” Markey said. “With this federal funding, Martha’s Vineyard Airport can restore its runway, ensuring it is as welcoming as the neighboring beaches. I am proud of this strong federal investment in Martha’s Vineyard’s economy, and I look forward to continuing the strong local-federal partnership with the region to address critical infrastructure needs.”

Work will likely begin this fall, and should be done before the busy flight season in 2019, Richart said. “That’s our plan.”

In a separate release, U.S. Rep. William Keating, whose district includes the Island, announced more than $12 million in funds for five airports within his district. The Martha’s Vineyard grant made up the bulk of those funds.

“Our local airports are critical to the economic success of our district, and on the Islands, for the residents to be able to travel safely and quickly,” Keating said. “The amount of funds awarded to our district is a major win for our airports and all of our surrounding communities.”