SALISBURY – State and local leaders this week broke ground on the construction of a water main extension near the Salisbury airport.
In a groundbreaking ceremony Monday, local leaders gathered together to celebrate the start of construction on the Ocean City-Salisbury-Wicomico Regional Airport water main extension project.
“When completed, this project will extend for the first time a dedicated City of Salisbury water main from Wor-Wic Community College to the Salisbury airport to provide potable water to the airport facilities and on-site businesses,” said Wicomico County Airport Commission Chair Calvin Peacock.
Nearly a year ago, the county secured more than $4 million in grants and low-interest loans to run municipal water six miles from the community college water tower to the airport campus.
In addition to delivering potable water to the facility, officials said the water main is expected to enhance fire protection and increase development potential of the airport’s business park.
“Through the local partnerships, Wicomico County will install the water main and the City of Salisbury will maintain and operate the completed water system,” Peacock said. “This water system is one more step in providing the airport with the infrastructure needed for continuing business growth.”
Airport Manager Tony Rudy explained the water main extension project would support the construction of hangers and buildings needed to grow the airport.
“They can’t be built unless they have a fire suppression system …,” he said. “That’s really going to help the future growth of this airport, bringing these businesses in, bringing these large hangers in.”
Construction on the water main extension began this month, Peacock said. And while the total project cost comes in at $4.7 million, the state of Maryland is providing $1.5 million in grant funding.
Katherine McAllister of George, Miles & Buhr (GMB) said the project was years in the making.
She explained her engineering firm had worked with the county on the water main extension since 2013. Now, as the project advances to the construction phase, McAllister said GMB would work alongside David A. Bramble, Inc., who was awarded the construction contract.
“We hope to have it completed and live by fall 2021,” she said.
Funding for the project is provided by the state of Maryland, through the Maryland Department of the Environment, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
“We are really excited about this project finally getting underway here,” Rudy said. “It’s going to mean a lot to the airport.”