HARRISON – It’s been a long, and sometimes contentious, effort to get some much-needed repair work done on the paved runway at Clare County Airport 80D. But, as the saying goes, good things are worth the wait – and now the wait is over.
Earlier this summer, a good deal of numbers-crunching and materials inquiry resulted in an estimate that Dewayne Rogers, Clare County Road Commission managing director, provided to the Clare County Board of Commissioners. Despite that effort, at the June 21 BOC meeting a motion to spend $20,989 on runway crack-sealing work failed on a 5-to-4 vote.
Then at the July 17 Clare County Airport Committee meeting, Rogers offered another possibility. Through contact with a new mastic vendor, Maxwell Products, he secured a product demonstration which could be done on the runway rather than a section of highway. That would allow for other road commissions to come by and view the product application, while eliminating the requirement to shut down a section of highway. The vendor – whose product GAP-Mastic MOD 201 (PolySkin) is in direct competition to the previously quoted product Crafco Mastic One – saw this project as a great demonstration opportunity and offered a huge discount in order to take advantage of it. At that time, Rogers estimated the new proposal would finish 90% to 100% of the needed crack repair.
Seeing the light Rogers was shining at the end of what had been an ever-darkening tunnel, the Airport Committee approved a motion be put before the BOC at its July 19 meeting: To approve the purchase of 10,000 pounds of GAP-Mastic MOD 201 (PolySkin) for a vendor demonstration on the Clare County Airport runway in the amount not to exceed $6,500 to come from the General Fund.
At the July 19 meeting, the BOC simply approved: $6,500 from the General Fund to finish the crack seal on the runway. That motion was unanimously approved.
Preparation work included two applications of herbicide to kill the vegetation in the cracks, followed by blowing out the cracks on Monday, Aug. 21. That work was followed Tuesday, Aug. 22 by the product demonstration. There was a bit of early morning rain Tuesday, but a hot torch allowed for drying a small area for demonstrating the equipment and aggregate-containing crack seal. The vendor demonstrating the product and application machinery explained how using mastic which contains aggregate aids in the bonding process.
In addition to Clare County, onsite for the demo were representatives from the City of Clare, and Gladwin and Midland counties. Dewayne Rogers assured that, after waiting a while for the light misting of the runway to dry, work would resume that day. It was expected to take the better part of two days to complete the crack sealing on the 2,978-foot runway.
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